HEALTH: Maryland schoolchildren may get calorie counts for lunch items

HEALTH • BY LIZZY MCLELLAN, CNS

At Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, nutrition information is posted to a bulletin board for students to peruse as they stand in line for lunch. The board displays nutritional facts for each meal offered, including calories, protein, vitamins and minerals.

Some students glance at the board as they pass by, but many do not, such as 12-year-old Victoria Justus, who said she enjoys the healthy meals her school provides, but does not care to check on the food’s calorie content.

Others, like Samuel Gibson, 12, agree that calories are less useful in making healthy choices.

“I think about the same things my mother makes for me for dinner,” Gibson said.

Still, more Maryland students may get the opportunity to see the numbers behind nutrition, if legislation passes requiring all public schools to post on their menus the calorie content of food items served.

Regulations have already passed in some counties, such as Montgomery, requiring this information. Last year, chain restaurants across the United States faced a similar federal mandate for their menus.

School lunch

Seventh grade students at Murray Hill Middle School enjoy lunch together. At Murray Hill, about 60 percent of students typically buy lunch, said Rosalie Edwards, an area field representative for nutrition and dining in Howard County. Capital News Service Photo by Lizzy McClellan.

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Capital News Service
Capital News Service is a student-powered news organization run by the Philip Merrill College of Journalism. With bureaus in College Park, Annapolis and Washington run by professional journalists, CNS delivers news in multiple multimedia formats via partner news organizations such as the Voice.