Thought you all might find this interesting. I'm curious to see how it turns out...
Posted on Wed, Nov. 17, 2004
Four Osceola schools use South Beach Diet for student lunches
KISSIMMEE, Fla. - Four Osceola County elementary schools created lunch menus based on the low-carbohydrate, lowfat South Beach Diet in an attempt to help about 2,700 students eat healthier.
The switch is part of a children's health study by Miami Beach cardiologist Arthur Agatston, author of the best-selling South Beach Diet books. If the diet helps students maintain a healthy weight, the study may be expanded to other school districts.
"We have to prove that we can go into a school system and without totally and expensively uprooting everything, make changes that will have a positive effect," Agatston said.
Students have been measured, weighed and fitted with pedometers to count each step they take and encourage them to keep active. The program ends in May
"We are not putting them on a diet, so to say," Agatston said. "We're teaching them to make better choices."
Instead of breaded chicken products and the white bread sandwiches found at many schools, the Osceola students get grilled chicken fajitas and ham on whole wheat.
Mill Creek Elementary, Partin Settlement Elementary and P.M. Wells Charter Elementary are joining Kissimmee Charter Elementary in the study. Two other schools are the control group and haven't had their menus changed.
The South Beach Diet eliminates carbohydrates during the first two weeks, but those restrictions were excluded from Osceola's school program. Instead the focus is more on fiber, which Agatston said is a key part of making sure children get the vitamins they need.
"We didn't take away their cookies, but we replaced them with oatmeal raisin," said Jean Palmore, the food service director for the school district.
Information from: Orlando Sentinel, http://www.orlandosentinel.com