Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Health

Font Size

School Lunches Linked to Kids' Obesity

Study Shows Kids Who Bring Lunch From Home Are Less Likely to Be Overweight

School Lunch vs. Lunch From Home continued...

The school-lunch kids also were less likely to participate in active sports like basketball, moderate exercise like walking, or team sports than their home-fed counterparts. And they spent more time watching TV, playing video games, and using computers outside of school.

"One-third of kids in the U.S. are now overweight or obese, which means one-third of kids are at risk of heart disease and diabetes as they age. That scares me," Jackson says.

"If we don't do something now, the recent trend toward fewer deaths due to heart disease among U.S. adults is in jeopardy of reversing, she says.

Parents' Options

So should you be packing your kids lunch?

Michael Barrett, MD, co-chairman of the committee that chose which studies to highlight at the meeting and a cardiologist at Temple University in Philadelphia, says that's not necessarily the solution.

There's no way to be sure what you’re packing in their lunches is what they are actually eating; foods can be traded and snacks can be bought from vending machines or local stores, he says.

Instead, parents need to work with school systems to ensure that school lunches have less salt and fat and more fiber, Jackson says.

Parents also need to feed kids healthy foods at home, both at meals and for snacks, she says.

From an exercise point of view, "integrate small steps such as walking to school," Jackson says.

Recent data show that while an estimated 30.6 million U.S. students eat school lunches, only 6% of school lunch programs meet the requirements established by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. For example, the average sodium content was twice that recommended, and 80% of schools exceeded rules to keep fat to less than 30% of total calories.

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.

worried kid
jennifer aniston
Measles virus
sick child

Child with adhd
rl with friends
Syringes and graph illustration