Columbia County school lunches more nutritious

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First at 5 o'clock - August 29, 2007

EVANS, Ga. - A new report ranks Georgia 12th in the nation for childhood obesity. Concerns about obesity have schools in Columbia County changing their lunch menus.

Seventy percent of Columbia County students eat lunch in the cafeteria, according to Dr. Jane Wiggins, Director of School Nutrition for the County.

"We've tried to include a number of fruits and vegetables and whole grains," said Wiggins.

Wiggins is responsible for choosing the food for all the schools in the County.

"We've expanded our menu options and tried to give it an updated look and offer items that students see out in the fast food restaurants but with a healthy twist," Wiggins said.

The twist is having food that looks like it comes from a fast food restaurant, but the food is baked instead of fried.

"The only items we fry are the french fries," says Wiggins.

But even if you're chowing down on the right foods. Catherine Davis says without exercise--it's not enough to make Georgia a healthier state.

"I'm pleased to see that changes are being made. But these changes are not going to solve the problem. It's going to take a number of different efforts on a number of different levels, but every little bit counts," Davis said.

Wiggins agrees that it's a step in the right direction. However, she says schools can't solve the problem alone, it takes the help of parents.

"School operates 180 days a year. At the most, a child might eat half of their lunches or half of their breakfast in school. We need parents to help provide their students with healthy choices."

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