Live Strong: How Can Overweight Children Lose Weight Fast?

The link between the federal school lunch program and childhood obesity that was uncovered by the research of SMU economist Daniel L. Millimet has been covered by the health articles on the site Live Strong in “How Can Overweight Children Lose Weight Fast?

The article notes Millimet’s finding that a la carte options such as ice cream and sodas are readily available to children in the school lunch line.

The research, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, found that children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government’s National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight.

The same research study found, however, that children who eat both the breakfast and lunch sponsored by the federal government are less heavy than children who don’t participate in either, and than children who eat only the lunch, said Millimet.

Millimet authored the study with economists Rusty Tchernis, Georgia State University, and Muna S. Hussain, Kuwait University.

Millimet’s study was published in the Summer 2010 issue of The Journal of Human Resources. It is titled “School Nutrition Programs and the Incidence of Childhood Obesity.”

Millimet is a professor and director of undergraduate studies in the SMU Department of Economics.


The prevalence of childhood obesity among children increased from 6.5 percent in 1980 to 19.6 percent in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is the result of too many calories consumed and not enough calories expended. An overweight child is much more likely to become an overweight or obese adult. A change in lifestyle, healthy eating habits and daily physical activity can help an overweight child lose weight.

Pack Their Lunch
Lunches served in school cafeterias may be one of the causes for your child to be overweight. According to a study done by Daniel Millimet, PhD, professor of economics at Southern Methodist University, many schools are not complying with federal guidelines. His study found that 10 to 35 percent of schools do not supply their students with low-fat lunches. A la carte options such as ice cream and sodas are readily available to your children. By packing their lunch for them you can control what and how much they eat each day.

Read the full story.

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