Menus Commonly Feature Processed Meats and Meals Exceeding Recommended Limits on Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol, Report Finds
WASHINGTON—With nearly 1,800 milligrams of sodium—more than some children should eat in an entire day—the Ham, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit has topped a new report ranking the five worst breakfasts served by schools across the country.
The Five Worst School Breakfasts report from the nonprofit Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine also found that 93 percent of surveyed schools regularly serve breakfasts featuring processed meats, which increase the risk of diabetes and cancer later in life. All five items featured in the report contain more cholesterol, calories from fat, or sodium than a child should consume for breakfast, according to the Institute of Medicine.
“The most important meal of the day shouldn’t be a nutritional nightmare,” says PCRM nutrition education director Susan Levin, M.S., R.D. “Breakfasts full of fat, sodium, and processed meat can lead to obesity and put children at risk for diabetes and heart disease later in life. Healthier school meals help kids concentrate and do better in class.”
In advance of National School Breakfast Week, which begins March 5, PCRM nutrition experts analyzed breakfast menus in 30 school districts across the country. They found that despite recent high-profile efforts to make school meals healthier, unhealthy breakfast items continue to be common in many districts. Only 30 percent of schools offered low-fat, healthy options like oatmeal or other hot cereals.
|Five Worst School Breakfasts Nutrition Shocker|
|Ham, Egg, and Cheese Biscuit||1,792 milligrams of sodium—more than some children should consume in an entire day—and more calories and saturated fat than a McDonald’s Egg McMuffin|
|Cheesy Scrambled Eggs||Derives 63 percent of calories from fat|
|Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Whole-Grain Sandwich||More sodium than Burger King’s BK Breakfast Muffin Sandwich with sausage, egg, and cheese|
|Maple-Flavored Pork Pancake Wrap||More calories, fat, and saturated fat than IHOP’s Jr. Scrambled Egg & Pancake breakfast|
|Glazed Raised Donut||Derives 50 percent of calories from fat|
Researchers in Canada have found that a diet high in fat, sodium, and sugar can result in poor school performance. But high-quality, low-fat breakfasts that include fruits and vegetables can improve academic performance.
For a copy of the full report or to speak with Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., please contact Vaishali Honawar at 202-527-7339 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.