As childhood obesity rates have increased over the last few decades, a lot of focus has been put on insuring that school lunches are healthier than the chocolate milk/cheeseburger/tater tot pig-out some of us grew up eating. But according to a new study, the real source of those extra pounds is the stuff kids are devouring when they’re not in school.
“We were really surprised by that result and, in fact, we held back from publishing our study for roughly two years because we kept looking for a connection that just wasn’t there,” says one of the report’s authors, a professor of sociology and demography at Penn State University.
The study looked at around 20,000 fifth-to-eighth grade students and found no rise in the percentage of overweight students when there was an increase in the amount of junk food being served at school.
“Schools only represent a small portion of children’s food environment,” explains the professor. “They can get food at home, they can get food in their neighborhoods and they can go across the street from the school to buy food.”
Good, now maybe Los Angeles public schools will give chocolate milk back to their students. Who are we kidding…