School lunches could lead to obesity

4:59 PM, Sep 6, 2011   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida - Each day, hundreds of students pile in and out of a school cafeteria trying to eat lunch. And these days many schools give kids little time to eat.

According to a new survey by the School Nutrition Association, elementary kids have about 25 minutes for lunch. Middle and high school have 30 minutes, and that includes waiting in line, getting their food and then using the restroom afterwards.

Sarah Krieger, registered dietician at All Children's Hospital, says when kids or even adults eat quickly, they consume more calories.

"Unfortunately, foods that are higher in calories are easier to chew... french fries, chicken tenders, sugary things go down quick. More time to peel an orange eat an apple."

Krieger suggests parents do some prep work ahead of time if your child brings their lunch, or have them look at the lunch menu online and choose items ahead of time.

While schools are offering healthier choices, parents should know kids consume 30 to 50 percent of their calories in the school meal programs.

So slowing down needs to start at home.