There has been quite a bit of talk in the media recently about the high prevalence of childhood obesity in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
- Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years.
- The percentage of children aged 6–11 years in the United States who are considered obese increased from 7% in 1980 to nearly 18% in 2012. Similarly, the percentage of adolescents aged 12–19 years who are considered obese increased from 5% to nearly 21% over the same period.
- In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.
- Overweight means having excess body weight for a particular height from fat, muscle, bone, water, or a combination of these factors. Obesity is defined as having excess body fat.
- Overweight and obesity are the result of “caloric imbalance”—too few calories expended for the amount of calories consumed. Both are associated with various genetic, behavioral, and environmental factors.
Obesity Epidemic is Not Helped by School Lunch Menus
Both public and private schools throughout the United States serve lunches to millions of children each school day. In an article published by the National Education Association titled, “Quality of School Lunches Questioned,” education support professionals and educators understand the important role nutritious school lunches play in student achievement. “While school lunches may, according to standards, be balanced, their actual contents leave a lot to be desired ,” said Bob Munoz, a Nevada educator.
How are some schools combating some of the not-so-healthy lunch options offered in their cafeterias? More and more schools are providing students with the opportunity to purchase frozen yogurt.
In one school in Colorado, Campus Middle School, frozen yogurt is for sale to all students each day during the lunch period. The yogurt is supplied by a nearby yogurt shop called Yogurt Yuphoria, which delivers the frozen yogurt to the school each day in pre-packaged cups. On any given day, there is always more than one flavor choice.
Lauren, a seventh grade student who attends Campus Middle School, reports that the most popular frozen yogurt flavors offered for sale in her school include chocolate, thin mint, cake batter, cookies & cream, and strawberry.
“I sometimes buy a cup once a week, but I have friends who buy a cup of frozen yogurt every day. I’m glad they offer frozen yogurt in our cafeteria because it’s much better than the junk that’s also for sale,” said Lauren.
If you’re thinking of entering the frozen yogurt industry as a shop owner, you may be able to break into the public or private school market. All it takes is a shop owner’s willingness to deliver pre-packaged cups of frozen yogurt to the school each morning and the school administrators’ willingness to allow the sale of a healthy alternative in their cafeteria.