Children during the summer consume more sugar than during the school year.
Sometimes the only decent meals that children from low-income families receive is at school. There are many children who don't eat full meals on the weekends and then get to eat on Monday. Summer vacation is an exciting time and many kids look forward to the adventures that they get to have with their family. Summer vacation to children from low-incomes might mean a time where they don't have very full meals, and they probably have bad nutrition. Many school districts provide meals during the summer for children to come so that no child goes hungry during the Summer months. However, not many people are utilizing these programs.
A study created in Minnesota found that only 22% of the children who receive meals through the school program during the school year come and take advantage of the meal program through the Summer. Therefore, 88% of the children who need meal assistance during the school year are not actually eating the meals through the program during the summer. Jiwoo Lee with the University of Minnesota said that it makes her sad knowing that all of those children are not getting the food and the nutrients that they probably are lacking at home. She believes that these statistics show that there is a lack of education and there is certainly an under-utilization of a very important and essential program.
The study has shown that children are more likely to consume a lot more sugar during the Summer than they would during the school year. Children have access to more nutritional foods while being at school. Healthy foods seem to cost a lot more and sometimes families who don't have a lot of money are less likely to buy foods that are nutritional.
Children are gaining weight during the Summer which just seems backward. Summer should be filled with kids being active, running and being part of activities. They should be out bike riding and playing games. However, they are packing on the pounds. Why is this? It appears to be related to the food that kids are eating. Lee shares that children are gaining weight because they don't have access to the right types of foods. More families need to take advantage of the Summer meal programs so that the kids can get all of the nutrients that they need instead of consuming so much sugar.