Most Kentucky parents think school lunches are nutritious, but should offer more made from-scratch options, according to the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll.
The poll, taken Oct.8 through Nov. 6, found that 67 percent of Kentucky parents said their oldest child’s school lunch was very or somewhat nutritious, while 23 percent said it was “not that nutritious”or not nutritious at all.
Opinions about the nutrition of school lunches varied across the state with 80 percent of parents in Northern Kentucky, 73 percent in greater Lexington, and 70 percent in Western Kentucky saying their child’s lunch was very or somewhat nutritious, and 63 percent of parents from greater Louisville and 57 percent of parents from Eastern Kentucky saying so.
Asked if their school needed more made-from-scratch options, 69 percent of parents said it did, while 20 percent said their child’s school offered enough of this option. Most parents in each region said they wanted to see more made from-scratch options, topping out at 82 percent in Eastern Kentucky.
Kentucky is first in the nation for high-school obesity, eighth in obesity of children 10 to 17, and sixth among 1-to-4-year-olds from low-income families, according to the “States of Obesity” report.
“School nutrition is one element of overall strategies to reduce childhood obesity and improve health,” said Susan Zepeda, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, which sponsors the poll with Interact for Health, formerly the Health Foundation of Greater Cincinnati.
The Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati surveyed a random sample of 1,597 adults via land line and cell phone. The margin of error for the “parents” subgroup, adults with school-aged children living in the household, is plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.