Survey Finds New School Lunch Guidelines Aren't Resonating with Parents

Less than six percent of parents feel their children are receiving healthier meals

CHANHASSEN, Minn.--()--As the debate on school lunch reform continues to rage on at the national and state government level, a new survey found that less than six percent of parents feel the recent reforms have resulted in any meaningful healthy changes in the foods served to their children. Conducted by the Life Time Foundation, a private operating foundation created by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life CompanySM (NYSE: LTM), the survey tallied 1,079 parents’ thoughts regarding school meals.

Survey participants suggested that government guidelines and implemented changes nationwide aren’t resonating with parents. Most notably, 29 percent said they weren’t sure what the new guidelines are and 22 percent said that the guidelines didn’t seem to improve the lunches at all. Moreover, 43.8 percent said that more change needs to be implemented.

When deciding to purchase school lunches, survey respondents said price and convenience weren’t as important as quality of ingredients. More than 72 percent are willing to pay up to $2.00 more per meal for healthier meals for their children, and 83 percent said they would have their child purchase school meals more often if the offerings were all natural. Notably, 72 percent of parents also said they regularly review the nutrition content of the food they serve their kids at home, while 60 percent of parents have never looked at the nutritional information of foods supplied at school.

“In the face of overwhelming childhood obesity and diabetes rates, we believe real commitments need to be made to provide healthier foods to kids at school,” said James McGuire, director, Life Time Foundation. “This must be an active partnership between parents, students, school administrators and government officials. At the Life Time Foundation, we aim to help drive critical dialog and meaningful change with respect to how schools purchase and prepare food, including the removal of unhealthy and harmful ingredients via the grants and resources we provide. Collectively, we can create long-term solutions that provide students with great-tasting, real foods that support healthy, active lives while promoting improved focus and achievement, and reduced sick time.”

Serving as an agent of change to positively impact school nutrition, the Life Time Foundation currently supports—at more than 90 schools in Arizona, Illinois, Minnesota and Ohio—the elimination of seven targeted ingredients from school menus. They include: bleached flour; artificial preservatives, colors and sweeteners; high fructose corn syrup; trans fats and hydrogenated oils; and antibiotics and hormones in beef and other animal products whenever possible. Studies have shown that in addition to nutritional benefits, healthier diets also associate with higher academic performance.

The Life Time Foundation is seeking additional school lunch partner applicants throughout the United States. Schools or parents interested in learning more may email schoollunch@lifetimefitness.com to submit a school for consideration.

For more information about the Life Time Foundation’s school lunch program, visit www.ltffoundation.org or www.facebook.com/lifetimefitnessfoundation.

Survey Methodology
The school lunch survey was conducted by the Life Time Foundation, a private operating foundation created by Life Time – The Healthy Way of Life CompanySM among 1,079 U.S. adults ages 18+ who are members of Life Time Fitness or Life Time Athletic destinations.

About the Life Time Foundation
As a private operating foundation created by Life Time Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: LTM), the Life Time Foundation is about inspiring healthy people and a healthy planet one mission at a time. Currently, the Foundation is focused on improving children’s nutrition through education and the reduction or elimination of highly processed and artificial ingredients from school lunch menus, ensuring every child has a healthy start in life. Unlike many other charitable organizations in which a portion of donations is consumed by administrative costs, 100% of every dollar donated to the Life Time Foundation directly supports its mission because all administrative costs are contributed by Life Time. For more information, visit ltffoundation.org.

About Life Time Fitness, Inc.
As The Healthy Way of Life Company, Life Time Fitness (NYSE: LTM) helps organizations, communities and individuals achieve their total health objectives, athletic aspirations and fitness goals by engaging in their areas of interest — or discovering new passions — both inside and outside of Life Time’s distinctive and large sports, professional fitness, family recreation and spa destinations, most of which operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Company’s Healthy Way of Life approach enables customers to achieve this by providing the best programs, people and places of uncompromising quality and value. As of July 22, 2014, the Company operated 112 centers under the LIFE TIME FITNESS® and LIFE TIME ATHLETIC® brands in the United States and Canada. Additional information about Life Time centers, programs and services is available at lifetimefitness.com.

Contacts

Life Time Fitness, Inc.
Media Contact:
Amy Henderson, 952-229-7721
ahenderson2@lifetimefitness.com

Release Summary

Survey finds less than six percent of parents feel recent school lunch reforms have resulted in any meaningful healthy changes in the foods served to their children.

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Contacts

Life Time Fitness, Inc.
Media Contact:
Amy Henderson, 952-229-7721
ahenderson2@lifetimefitness.com