After six months of eating school lunch, the blood work reveals….
…very few changes.
Check out my nifty embedded spreadsheet which shows the results of two previous years of lab testing (I am tested every year to get a discount on our health insurance). Skip to recap below if you want to…
Glucose – up by 5, but still within normal range
Cholesterol — down by 20 points (!!)
Blood pressure — no change
Weight — no change
“That’s noble of you,” commented my doctor when I told him about eating school lunches for six months. I sat nervously on the table confessing the project to him. He was kind and quite interested, “That’s like that chef on TV talking about school lunches.” Then he paused, “No, that’s like that that guy from Supersize Me. You know, he saw a lot of doctors.”
Well, it looks like I will not have to see a lot of doctors. I know many of you (and maybe me too) were looking for damning evidence in my lab work pointing to school lunches causing irreparable damage to me as well as all the school kids who consume the food.
Why no smoking gun?
I’m healthy and I was eating school lunches for only one meal per day. The lunches were kid-sized; it was automatic portion control. The lunches do meet the USDA guidelines…grumble, grumble.
When I’m at home I eat fresh fruits and vegetables. I don’t drink alcohol, caffeine, soda or even milk. I drink tons of water.
The project has made food the focus of the past six months of my life. I worry more about what I’m putting into my mouth both during school and after hours. Weight loss experts advise dieters to maintain food journals when they are trying to cut calories. This blog is a twisted kind of food diary. I mean, I have never been more obsessive about cataloging my daily food intake.
You know my glucose went up by 5 mg/dl. Many of my readers suggested I get the A1C test and when I mentioned that to my doctor he remarked, “Only if you fail the fasting glucose would I order the A1C.” My result was still within the normal range. Will my glucose slowly climb over the next six months? It’s hard to say.
Keep in mind that I’m not a child, but a healthy adult. We can only speculate how eating the 101 school lunches that I have eaten these past six months would affect children of all different shapes and sizes.
Honestly, I’m relieved. Although they can’t test for everything, it appears that at least on some measurements, I’m ok. I’d also like to add that since I have stopped eating school lunches, my IBS symptoms have basically disappeared. So there is *something* in those lunches that doesn’t agree with me.
When I left the examination room, my doctor explained to me the need to fast appropriately prior to the tests and then he added with a laugh, “And no chicken McNuggets!”
Hey, this blog project is not Supersize Me, so he doesn’t have to worry. Not to mention I never go to McDonalds.