- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 2, 2013

Schools across the country should look to New York City elementary school P.S. 244’s visionary, plant-based cafeteria not only to improve their students’ test scores, attention and mental focus, but also to improve students’ overall health and well-being (“Where’s the beef? Bloomberg launches vegetarian-only school lunch,” Web, May 1).

School districts that offer healthy, low-fat, cholesterol-free options give their students a leg up on test scores. Many studies link low-fat, high-fiber diets with brain-boosting power, and simply adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains in school cafeterias will help halt the meteoric rise of obesity, type 2 diabetes and hypertension, among other chronic diseases in children and teens.

As a dietitian who helps school lunch programs nationwide make their menus more healthful, I urge more schools to follow in the footsteps of P.S. 244 by serving high-fiber, low-fat, nutrient-packed meals.

SUSAN LEVIN

Director of nutrition education

Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Washington, D.C.