At Crenshaw High, An Uphill Battle to Fight Obesity
The student journalists at USC's NeonTommy online publication have put together an interesting package of multimedia stories about a $25 million Urban League effort to transform Los Angeles' troubled Crenshaw High School and its surrounding community.
So far, they report, its success has been mixed.
Of note is Olga Khazan's story outlining the Urban League's attempts to provide better food choices and nutrition education to combat obesity at Crenshaw High. Here's an excerpt:
The students at Crenshaw High School have a number of ways to describe their cafeteria food, but none of them are good. Some call it "welfare food"; others have termed it "government cheese." Seventy-eight percent of the students at Crenshaw High get their lunches for free, or nearly free, but very few of them like what they get
Whether the reason is taste or pride, many students find the cafeteria food so "gross" that they toss it away uneaten and go without lunch for the day. After school, they head to local fast-food joints where a few dollars can buy a hot, greasy meal
The link between food and academic performance has become one of the main weapons wielded by food policy activists in the battle against childhood obesity, so much so that First Lady Michelle Obama made "healthier food in schools" one of the pillars of her "Let's Move" campaign.
What's happening with food choices at the schools in your community? Do students have access to healthy, appealing food? Does it make a difference in their academic performance?
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