Fruits and Vegetables in School Lunch Programs
Participants who attend Session 180 Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Control in the School Lunch Program on Monday afternoon from 1:30–3:00 pm in Room 292 will hear current research on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables and weight management strategies, and will learn how fresh produce relates to the health of children in the school lunch program. In addition, this symposium addresses and debates the beneficial effects of fruits and vegetables and applies the principles of healthy eating for weight maintenance to the school lunch program. Part of the symposium reviews the current research on the benefits of bioactive compounds in fruits and vegetables in the prevention of chronic diseases, focusing on the mechanisms of action. The additive and synergistic interactions of phytochemicals in the wide varieties of fruits and vegetables are included in the discussion. Another part of the symposium focuses on the scientific information on the role dietary habits have on weight maintenance. Although bariatric surgery is often recommended to treat individuals with severe obesity, newly published research shows there is a viable alternative. Many weight loss programs focus on a single concept, for example carbohydrate restriction, with little success. But a comprehensive program can be successful. Results from a recent study of a comprehensive weight-loss program indicate that intense behavioral treatment is an effective intervention for severely obese individuals and is substantially less risky than bariatric surgery. Finally, the effectiveness of a fresh fruit and vegetable program in public schools will be discussed.