The imminent situation of children obesity epidemic is almost imminent in current day America. The rising obesity figures in children and their ratio being directly proportional to meals offered during school programs is testified now (Menschik, Ahmad and Alexander 33). A lot of researches and existing practice evaluations has been carried by USDA , the Unite States Department of Agriculture, to meet the nutrition standards and enforce compliance over dietary guidelines for children (Joshi, Misako and Feenstra 41). In 2013, USDA adopted a reformatory policy of serving healthier meals (rich in nutrition and low on fats, using vegetables, fruits etc) with updated nutrition standards. Adding to the success of this program, around 86% of total schools were certified for complying with the regulated healthy food serving norms. But it still needs to be ratified whether this policy by USDA has actually resulted in curbing obesity problem in children.
Ineffectiveness of USDA policy
In spite of the nationwide implementation of the mentioned policy, the obesity cases have not significantly been reduced in America. The prime cause for this is still prevalent access to competitive foods in schools. The competitive food refers to the ready to eat segment of fast foods, high in calories/fats and often served via vending machines. The following issues are loopholes in USDA policy, which have mitigated its effectiveness:
The healthy food is available only during lunch hours and after that the post school and other activities are open to access for buying the competitive food. Thus children eat the mandated food during lunch but also keep eating competitive foods during other schedules (Finkelstein, Hill & Whitaker 252).
The policy changes has been stringently imposed over primary level schools and slightly relaxed over mid level and high schools. The rising obesity pattern is sever in high school cases , as children with better decision making are more inclined to junk food (Wagner, Senaur and Runge 677).
The US government has crucial revenue generation by sale of packaged foods and they are thus not evaded off the school premises (Menschik, Ahmad and Alexander 30) .Again, the automated vending machines have no match to manual check on regulating repetitive or abundant consumption by students.
Hence, above mentioned flaws in USDA’s policy need to revamp into stern measures to curtail the impending threat of obesity and other fatty food consumption issues in American Children.
Menschik D, Ahmed S, Alexander MH, Blum RW. Adolescent Physical Activities as Predictors of Young Adult Weight. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. 2008. 29–33. Print.
Joshi A, Misako Azuma A, Feenstra G. Do Farm to School Programs Make a Difference? Findings and Future Research Needs. Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition. 2008. 29–56. Print.
Finkelstein DM, Hill EL, Whitaker RC. School Food Environments and Policies in US Public Schools. Pediatrics. 2008. 251-259. Print.
National Alliance for Nutrition and Activity. Update USDA's School Nutrition Standards: Cosponsor the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act. 2008. Available at http://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/fedschoolfoods.pdf
Wagner B, Senauer B, Runge CF. An Empirical Analysis of and Policy Recommendations to Improve the Nutritional Quality of School Meals. Review of Agricultural Economics. 2007. 672–88.