Researchers at Virginia Tech gave me my free laughs of the week when they announced that they've done a study and concluded that "lunches packed at home are generally not as nutritious as school lunches."
Don't get me wrong, people can and do pack all kinds of crappy things in lunches for their kids (have you seen the latest configurations of Lunchables?).
But every a cursory reading of the parameters of the study, as mentioned in the article, makes the design look flawed at best. For example:
- "Researchers compared more than 750 school meals with more than 560 packed meals given to pre-K and kindergarten students in three schools, analyzing them for nutritional value over five days."
- As a whole, the packed lunches overall had more calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, vitamin C and iron than school lunches. In addition, meals brought from home generally had less protein, sodium, fiber, vitamin A and calcium than school lunches, according to the study.
- To analyze the nutritional content of the lunches, the researchers used the 2012-2013 National School Lunch Program Standards as a guide.
And, finally the piece de resistance:
- "...actual consumption wasn't measured, only observations about the contents of the lunches. "
So thank you, Virginia Tech, for my laughs my week - this study was a really good joke!