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The Physicians Committee



2014nutrition-matching


NEWS RELEASE August 24, 2006

School Lunches Improving as Districts Nationwide Take Action to Halt Rising Rates of Childhood Obesity

Doctors Issue Nutrition Report Card: Schools Earn Top Grades by Promoting Healthy Vegetarian Fare, Banning Vending Machines, and Focusing on Produce

WASHINGTON—Children heading back to school this fall will benefit from the recent push at all levels of government to fight childhood obesity by promoting healthy eating, with a focus on increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, according to a new School Lunch Report Card. For the report, nutrition experts with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) analyzed lunch menus at elementary schools in 18 major school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. PCRM also evaluated the availability of nondairy beverages and schools’ efforts to promote healthful foods to children.

Results show that school lunches are increasingly healthful in many districts. Fairfax, Virginia, came out on top with an A. The nation’s largest school district, New York City, is another star pupil with its focus on local produce and whole grains and a ban on whole milk. But a few districts continue to lag behind: Memphis City School District received an F.

“Childhood obesity is a bigger threat to kids than the schoolyard bully, so lunchrooms must provide healthful, low-fat vegetarian fare,” says PCRM nutritionist Dulcie Ward, R.D. “The biggest change our report found this year is in much greater availability of vegetarian and vegan options.” The school lunch report card is shown below.

School District

Score

Grade

Fairfax County Public Schools (Virginia)

94

A

Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District (North Carolina)

92

A-

Pinellas County Schools (Florida)

92

A-

San Diego Unified School District (California)

92

A-

Broward County Public Schools (Florida)

89

B+

New York City School District (New York)

88

B+

Miami-Dade Public Schools (Florida)

88

B+

Seattle Public Schools (Washington)

86

B

Dallas Independent School District (Texas)

85

B

Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland)

84

B

Palm Beach County School District (Florida)

84

B

Hillsborough County School District (Florida)

82

B-

School District of La Crosse (Wisconsin)

79

C+

San Francisco Unified School District (California)

76

C

Oakland Unified School District (California)

75

C

Minneapolis Public Schools (Minnesota)

67

D+

Hancock County Schools (Mississippi)

63

D

Memphis City School District (Tennessee)

54

F

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.



Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey
202-527-7316
jeannem@pcrm.org

Related Link:
Complete 2006 School Lunch Report

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