Early lunches, combined with single-food sales, may be causing bad eating habits among high schoolers.

10:30 or Before

Out of more than 200 high schools in Pennsylvania, nearly a quarter had lunch periods that began at 10:30 a.m. or even earlier. Such schools typically have higher sales of a la carte items such as pizza, burgers, cookies and pastries.

Vending Machine Meals

Sincethe foodhas to last teens until dinner, they often make frequent trips to vending machines throughout the day as well.

Schoolsthat have early lunches are usually ones that are overcrowded, or sometimes undergoing renovations.

Yahoo News February 16, 2006

Dr. Mercola's Comment:Although soft drink machines may be disappearing fromU.S. public schools, that's no reason to quit keeping tabs on your teen's health and waistline. Another subtle contributor to the epidemic of childhood obesity plaguing America turns out to be mid-morning lunch periods.

The most popular foods sold at schools with earlier lunch periods...

  • Pizza
  • Cookies
  • Hamburgers
  • Pastries
  • ... read like a recipe for obesity to me.

    This is one ofthe reasons for the astounding fact thatchildren are living shorter, more disease-plagued lives than their parents, a heartbreaking consequence if there ever was one. I'm convinced, however, we can overcome this epidemic before it's too late.

    Like most problems in life, preventing obesity among children and teenagers is far easier than treating it,but much of the success of prevention depends on parental involvement, and communication is the key.

    You will not only need to set appropriate guidelines and talk to your children about nutrition and why what they are doing is so important, you will need to take the time necessary to create nutritious meals and snacks for them to eat.

    Perhaps even more importantly, you will need to act as a good role model for them. After all, it is completely unfair to your children to ask them not to eat things they later see you eating.

    Some ways to combat the problem of childhood obesity:

  • Exercise-- The obvious answer to unfit kids is exercise. Overweight and obese children need at least 30 minutes of exercise each day, but more is better.
  • Eliminate sweet drinks-- Drastically cut their sugar intake (and ultimately weight) by eliminating soda and fruit juices.
  • Cut down or cut out television-- Not only does TV viewing promote inactivity, it exposes kids to commercials promoting worthless foods.
  • Retool their diets based on their individual metabolic type.
  • Address the emotions that contributed to their poor health by helping them learn an effective energy psychology tool like the Emotional Freedom Technique.
  • Author's Bio: 

    This article is reprinted from Mercola.com, the world's #1 most visited and trusted natural/alternative health website. For a limited time only, you can take the FREE "Metabolic Type Test" to help you learn the right foods for your particular body type so you can achieve optimal fitness & health. Just go to http://www.mercola.com/forms/mt_test.htm right now to take this quick test!