New study alarms parents.
University of Michigan researchers examining almost 1,300 sixth graders who either brought lunch from home or bought lunch at school found that the kids who bought lunch were more likely to be obese than the kids who brown-bagged it.
Of the children they studied, 38.8 percent of kids who bought lunches were obese, versus 24.4 percent of kids who brought their lunches from home.
Kids who buy school lunches were also more likely to:
• Eat fatty meats (25.8 percent vs. 11.4 percent)
• Drink sugary beverages (36 percent vs. 14.5 percent)
• Consume fewer vegetables or fruits (16.3 percent vs. 91.2 percent) than the children who brought lunch from home.
"This study confirms the current and escalating national concern with children's health, and underscores the need to educate children about how to make healthy eating and lifestyle choices early on," Elizabeth Jackson, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, said in a press release. "Although this study doesn't provide specific information on nutrient content of school lunches, it suggests there is a real opportunity to promote healthy behaviors and eating habits within the school environment."
Do your kids bring lunch or buy it?