UK students entitled to free meals make healthier lunch choices, study

A recent study in the British school system finds children entitled to Free School Meals make healthier lunch choices than middle-class children.

Nov. 14—New research conducted within the British school system found that children entitled to Free School Meals — the equivalent of the National School Lunch Program in the U.S. — were more likely to pick nutritionally valuable, freshly prepared dishes than children who were not part of the government-subsidized lunch program.

"Healthy eating habits are crucial to reducing children's risk of health problems, both long- and short-term,” Dr. Hannah Ensaff, of the University of Sheffield, stated in a press release. “Eating behavior is learned early on, and food preferences established in childhood and adolescence tend to persist into adult life, with related consequences for long-term health.”