January 2016 | Hotlunch.com | 1-888-376-7136

[Volume 8, Issue 1]

Slowly Cutting Back on Sugar in Soda May Fight Obesity

Sugar is basically just calories with no additional nutritional value, and the average American consumes way too much. Soft drinks are some of the most common sources of added sugar. One way to cut back on all that sugar is to drink soft drinks that contain artificial sweeteners, and while they're safe, some people don't want them.

Perhaps another option would be to cut back on the amount of sweetness in soft drinks - slowly so young taste buds adapt.

Gradual decline in soda's sugar content might help curb obesity

This news story from HealthDay explains how the appreciation for sweet flavors can be changed over time so kids (and adults) could adapt to soft drinks that aren't as sweet as what we drink today. No doubt it would take more than this to be successful, but it could be part of a larger strategy to combat obesity.

Still Eating Too Much Salt

Heavy sodium consumption is linked to high blood pressure in some people, which is bad because that increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart disease and strokes. Experts say that everybody should take a look at their sodium intake.

Americans still consume too much salt: CDC

This news story published by HealthDay discusses our sodium intake. A lot of it comes from salt added to foods but a huge amount comes from the stuff used to process foods.

What to do at school:

  • In health class, talk about sodium and how it can affect blood pressure.
  • In cooking classes, experiment with sodium-free seasonings to replace salt.
  • Help young kids choose low-sodium snacks like fresh fruit and veggies.
School Meals Are Healthier Now

The Healthy Hungry-Free Kids Act allowed the USDA to update nutrition standards back in 2012. So is it working? Are kids eating better meals at school? According to the journal JAMA Pediatrics, it is.

School meals more nutritious, thanks to revised standards

This news story from Medical News Today describes the findings published in JAMA Pediatrics. According to the news story, researchers looked at school meals for middle and high school students over 31 months and found that nutritional value increased while calorie counts decreased.

Although they only looked at one school district, the researchers conclude the revised standards are effective and they support ongoing implementation of the HHFKA act.

Prizes as Tempting as Food?

So we know little kids love happy meals because of the toy that comes with it. Could that work for adults? I mean, maybe rewarding ourselves for eating smaller portions might lead to eating less.

Substitute rewards makes smaller portions more palatable

This news story from Medical News Today describes a study in which researchers tested the Happy Meal concept with both adults and kids. They found that a combination of a half-sized portion and a nonfood prize affected participants' brains jus the same as being offered full sized portions.

I think they're on to something. Cutting portions and giving up foods we love is a bummer emotionally. It feels restrictive and there's little or no short-term satisfaction for many dieters. But, rewarding yourself (or your kids) for eating healthy might be something to think about.

Could "Healthy" Foods Make Us Overeat?

When we believe we're eating healthy foods there's a good chance we're going to eat more of them. Maybe because we believe healthy foods just aren't as filling or maybe we think it's okay to eat a lot of something if it's good for us.

The problem is that foods we think of as healthy may also be high in calories.

How healthy foods could lead to overeating

This news story from Medical News Today describes a study in which researchers had participants eat cookies labeled as either healthy or unhealthy. They found those who ate the 'healthy' cookies also tended to feel hungrier than participants who ate the same cookies but labels as unhealthy.

In another experiment, the researchers found that participants ordered and ate more food while watching a short film in which foods were portrayed as healthy compared to those who watched films where food was portrayed as unhealthy.

So, it could be that we need to think about what we're eating - even healthy foods need to be eaten in the correct amounts.

What to do at school:

  • Explain to kids that healthy foods can be high in calories.
  • Teach the differences between serving sizes and portion sizes.
  • Teach kids that just because a snack has "healthy" on the label, doesn't mean it's low in calories.
About HotLunch.com

Hotlunch.com is the only web-based system of its kind. Take a look at these testimonials to see how Hotlunch.com made an impact for these schools.

  • With Hotlunch.com you can publish lunch menus online, receive payments and automate administration of your Hotlunch at school.

  • Save up to 60 % of the time and resources you currently spend running your Hotlunch program.

  • Reduce errors, increase profits for you school and bring outstanding payments down to zero.

  • Hotlunch.com has been used by schools all over the nation  to manage after school care, volunteer recruitment, capital campaigns and much more!

  • With Schools preparing for the new school year, allow us to show you how you can save time and money on your lunch administration. Click here for information.

  • Ask us how today. Call 1-888-376-7136 or email info@hotlunch.com
Like us on Facebook

Hotlunch.com has expanded our online  presence to Facebook. The new Hotlunch.com Facebook Page will provide you a wealth of information and updates on School and Children’s nutrition.

More About School Lunches, Nutrition and Healthy Kids

Choosing a Top Inpatient Binge Eating Recovery Center

5 nutrition tips for kids with type 2 diabetes

Always hungry? Avoidable cravings, distraction and dysfunction in ourselves and our kids

Nutritionists stew over new US dietary guidelines

Restaurants striving to offer healthy options to kids

About Shereen Lehman

Shereen Lehman is a health and nutrition writer with two decades of experience counseling people on nutrition and diet. She has a master's degree in human nutrition and is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Association of Health Care Journalists.

Shereen writes about nutrition for the large website About.com (http://nutrition.about.com), is co-author of Superfoods for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470445394.html) and Clinical Anatomy for Dummies (http://www.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118116437.html). She also teaches Evidence Based Nutrition to nutrition graduate students at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut.