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Food for Thought

Flickr user bookgrl

We use food to feed our emotions, bring families together, and even battle boredom (hey, don’t judge…the ice cream was calling my name!). Food, without a doubt, is a powerful thing. So powerful, in fact, that it’s been shown to encourage kids to go to school. That’s right, dreaded school! 
 
A recent study on the effects of the National School Lunch Program (implemented in 1946) found that offering kids low-cost grub encourages them to attend school, and thus raises overall “educational attainment” – the highest level of education an individual completes.
 
Sounds good, right? Well, partially. While this is a definite plus, the study also shows that the original goal of the program – to ensure our nation’s children become healthy adults – did not occur to the extent desired. (I wonder if this might have something to do with the quality lunches offered?)
 
The study’s findings demonstrate just how powerful and positive an influence the National School Lunch Program can have, but they also show that there’s room for improvement. It seems that with the right changes (offering more quality, healthy, tasty foods), we can turn this program into something that not only increases educational attainment, but improves overall health, too.

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