PUSD and RBHS

Group Members:
Audrey Tylor
Marie Malham
Sarah Winston


Subsidiary Questions:
1. What stance does the PUSD Nutrition Service take on the problem of obesity?
2. Does the staff think obesity is a problem at Rancho Bernardo High School?
3. What does the PUSD system do to mentally help obese children in the district?
4. Where does obesity fit into the health cirriculum in PUSD?
5. What are the most commonly bought products from the cafeteria and how many calories are in this item?
6. Has anything been done in recent years to make RB more "healthy" food wise?
7. Do the P.E. or Health teachers keep track of their student's BMI?
8. Which item on the school menu is the highest in caloric value?

PUSD_1.pngAudrey:
1) In the Poway Unified School District, 9,000 lunch meals and 2,000 snacks are served daily. There are 33,000 students in PUSD meaning, school food is reaching about a third of the PUSD students. In America about one third of the population is obese. This correlation between school food and obesity can be used to our advantage by serving healthy food in schools. In PUSD, there are 207 permanent Food and Nutrition employees, who utilize a budget of $8.5 million a year. According to the Board of Education, food is carefully selected to contribute to good health and prevention of disease, to meet or exceed nutrition standards, prepared to ensure nutritional integrity, and served in age-appropriate proportions. The USDA requires that the daily average be 819 calories in each lunch meal, and for each meal to reach certain numbers for sections like protein and fats. The goal of the PUSD Food and Nutrition Services Department is to: “provide a variety of nutritious foods, provide adequate, but not too many calories, limit intake of simple sugars, total fat, and sodium, increase consumption of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and to promote moderation and balance in dietary habits.”

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2) PUSD has a monthly nutrition newsletter online known as, Nutrition Nuggets- Food and Fitness for a Healthy Child. The Newsletter is targeted toward children’s parents. In the September 2011, edition many topics are covered. It is suggested that parents look over the school menus and have their child circle the healthy meals and options they were going to eat. It suggests being active after school hours, getting a checkup at the doctor, and putting your child in a routine that allows nine to eleven hours of sleep. Regarding PE, the newsletter suggests showing interest in what their child does in gym class, asks to consider enrolling their child in a sport based on something they learned in PE, and staying in touch with the teacher. The newsletter also informs on choices made after school is out. It suggests packaging leftovers away into single servings so their child is not overeating, focusing on fun games as a form of exercise, substituting ketchup with hummus or mustard, and all the ingredients for making a salad: everything from shopping at a localmarket, to individual ingredients, and teaching children the steps of making a salad. There are two outdoor games with instructions on how to play them in the article as well as four healthy recipes for after-school snacks. The final section talks about self-esteem and stressing being healthy instead of wanting to look a certain way.


3) The middle school and high school lunch menus have a basic format for everyday. The menu options are: a cheeseburger or chicken sandwich, pizza, a meat or fish sandwich, a chicken salad, a bean and cheese burrito, corn or hot dog, or yogurt and crackers. While each of these menu items are main courses, side items include: salad greens, carrots, cole slaw, fruit cups, broccoli, edamame, or a variety of fresh fruits. Each meal comes with a choice of 1% low-fat white milk or non-fat chocolate or strawberry milk. The food sold at the cart however has many more options including: italian, asian, mexican, american, and deli foods, as well as snacks, breakfast items, and fruit juices.
Surprisingly, the food with the highest caloric content is the Southwest Chicken salad, a salad sold on the cart menu. It is 479 calories with 21 grams of fat, but only a third of this fat is from the "Lite Ranch" dressing. The Parmesan Chicken Sandwich also contained 430 calories, and 18 grams of fat. The Baked Potato with sour cream is a side item containing 339 calories containing 12.5 grams of fat, compared to the carroteenies which only have 19 calories and 0 grams of fat.
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While all nutrition information is posted online, a category was missing. Sugar. One cannot look up the sugar content in the fruit juices, which undoubtably, contained an amount rivaling that of soda. The Gatorade and Switch Sparkling Beverage information is simply not posted at all because, "nutrition information varies depending on flavor".
The nutritional fact sheet does not help a parent decide which food their child should buy unless they already understand how much fiber, protein, fat, carbs, calcium, and iron their child needs. It would be better if the fact sheet showed which items are the healthiest or what the recommended intake of each category is per day. The easiest ways to stay away from unwanted calories and fats at school are to abstain from the salads due to the dressings, except for the lite Italian, to drink only milk or water, and to stick with fruits and vegetables, or a turkey sandwich on a wheat bun.

Summary and Action Plan:
A third of the PUSD students eat food from the cafateria or cart.A third of the United States is obese. If we can establish healthy eating and exercise in these formative years we can prevent obesity in the future. An action plan may involve posting sugar content of each menu item and drink on the school website and making the nutritional information on the website easier to understand for parents by including a recommended daily intake of each category (protein, carbohydrates, ect.) for their child's age. Physical Education should focus more on lifelong skills that can be used to exercise at home or with others. Health class could focus more on proper nutrition for preventing obesity.The lunch menu could do without some of the high fat dressings or at least post calorie information on the menu at school. The more informed students are the more equipped they are to make healthy choices.



Marie:
1) While the PUSD tries to keep its main meals as healthy as possible, competitive foods (foods that are offered in vending machines, student stores, fundraising and the a la carte menus), tend to be low in nutrients and high in fat. Even though the school boasts that banning soda and french fries are preventing obesity in students, these bans are in vain. A student could easily purchase ice cream from the student store or grab a candy bar from the vending machine. Recently though, the Pexternal image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRy6ueQD4GvrnM3BHSyGUUu1YiHPVX_HrpC_gaFK3oKjx-fpH8aUSD has begun to replace much of their competitive food items with healither options. The question is, however, will they be as popular as the unhealthier food items?

2) The PUSD has tried many things to prevent obesity in children, and ever since July 1st, 2004 all the schools in California passed the CALIFORNIA CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION ACT. This act prevents the sale of any type of food from the cafeteria, student stores, or vending machines beyond the times of ahalf-hour before school and a half-hour after school. According to this act, the only beverages that may be sold are water, milk (chocolate, soy and rice milk and other similar dairy or non-dairy milks), 100% fruit juice, an electrolyte replacement beverage that contains no more than 42 grams of sweetener per 20 oz. serving (i.e. Gatorade), added and fruit-based drinks with no less than 50% fruit juice with no added sweeteners. It is also required that the sale occurs during a school-sponsored event and takes place at the location of that event after the end of the school day.

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3) Although selling candy to fundraise for sports and school events is a very successful way to raisemoney, there are other, healthier alternatives. Selling items for school spirit, selling tickets for school dances, fall festivals, carnivals, or talents shows are other ways to earn money. Allowing a sense of fun and activity is also a good way to raise money, like hosting a jog-a-thon, a bowling night, football, soccer, baseball night, dance contest, or game tournament will encourage the buyers to get active and enjoy raising money for their school. The community can also play a role by participating in car-washes in the summer, gift-wrapping during the holidays, and recycling. This way students not only raise money for their school, but they also improve the community.

Summary:
Even though kids like to eat candy and watch TV, they also like to run around and play outside. That is not as popular anymore, but we can help kids to keep playing outside and eating healthy by encouraging them to play sports or outdoor tag and hide-and-seek, and making healthy food seem fun, like decorating the plates to make them seem interesting and adding new flavors that kids like. By using these techniques, we can help kids stay healthy and eat well.
Sarah:
Click Here or below to see our Interviews with some RBHS staff on school lunches


Analysis:
One of the main focuses in the United States is the problem of obesity. The Poway Unified School District is trying to tackle this issue by changing its menus, adding healthier items to the vending machines, and finding alternative fundraising options other than candy. Their efforts may never end, but they are on the right track. For instance, hey have banned sodas from school vending machines and french fries from the lunch menu. Even though they still offer cookies and other sweets, they also have a salad bar and include milk to their full school meals. Athough the vending machines still offer chips and various other junk food items, at least they are healthy versions of them. For example, the potato chips are baked, not fried, and the gummies are made with real fruit in order to try and get more fruit into students' diets. Fundraising is also getting more healthy. Instead of selling candy and other sugary items, students can hold dances, festivals, contests, sports tournaments, jog-a-thons, and car washes. These help the community out and keep candy out of the way and off the students' minds.
A third of PUSD students are buying food from school and a third of the United States population is obese. There are many employees who work everyday to make sure the meals in PUSD are nutritious and served in age appropriate portions. All information regarding each menu item can be found online except for sugar content, which is relevant to obesity. PUSD has a monthly health related newsletter to make sure parents are educated and prepared to combat obesity in their home. PUSD's food items are mostly nutritous with a few exceptions. Some of the staff and students at RBHS do not think the lunch menu is as healthy as it could be and PE is not as important as it should be. However, it truly seems that PUSD is successfully doing all they can with their lunch menu to prevent obesity, and two years of P.E. and a Health class later, most students are informed enough to live a healthy lifestyle so long as they choose it.