Healthy People: Reviewing the School Breakfast Programs

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Healthy People 2020: School breakfast programs One of the Healthy People objectives pertaining to adolescents is increasing the number of schools that participate in school breakfast programs. "68.6 percent of schools overall, including public and private elementary, middle, and high schools, had a school breakfast program in 2006" (Adolescent health, 2013, Healthy People 2013). The goal of Healthy People 2020 is an increase of 10 percent to 75.5 percent of schools that offer breakfasts to students. The importance of a healthy breakfast cannot be underestimated. A child who is undernourished in the morning will not be functional for her class until lunch. Also, schools can act as supporters of positive, healthy behaviors by offering nutritious breakfasts such as fruit and yogurt, versus the fast food breakfasts some adolescents might grab, if they get breakfast at all. Many school districts are beginning earlier and earlier in the day, and students are simply not hungry enough or do not get up early enough in the morning for breakfast, leaving them starving by 10am. Being able to grab breakfast in study hall can thus prevent many potential academic and nutritional problems. Very few schools provide their own self-funded breakfast programs. Public schools are facing cutbacks nation-wide, in terms of the social services they provide for children. The main focus of many districts is on concentrating scarce economic resources on programs that will enable students to pass

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