Over a third of children in the United States are either overweight or obese - that's an incredibly alarming stat.
What certainly doesn't help is that in American schools, there is less of an emphasis on the inclusion of fruit and veg in meals.
Yes, the nutritional value of food is constantly being overlooked in American cafeterias which, considering the country's obesity rate, really shouldn't be happening. For instance, there should be fewer chicken nuggets on offer and far more fresh produce.
Sweetgreen, a restaurant chain which prioritizes in using healthy, organic and local ingredients, shed light on the disparity between school lunches in the US and those from other countries by taking photos of typical school lunches from all around the world. The photos were totally and utterly eye-opening.
A representative for Sweetgreen told the Huffington Post that in order to recreate these meals, the company took note of official standards for school lunches and compared this to actual photos of meals that students posted on their social media pages.
They discovered that countries outside the US tend to serve foods that are greener, fresher and richer in nutrients.
The meal includes mashed potatoes, fried popcorn chicken, peas, a fruit cup and a sizable chocolate chip cookie.
Pork with mixed veggies, black beans and rice, salad, bread and baked plantains.
Sautéed shrimp over brown rice and vegetables, gazpacho, fresh peppers, bread and an orange.
Mashed potatoes with sausage, borscht, cabbage, and syrniki (a dessert pancake).
Baked chicken over orzo, stuffed grape leaves, tomato and cucumber salad, fresh oranges, and Greek yogurt with pomegranate seeds.
Steak, carrots, green beans, cheese and fresh fruit.
Fish soup, tofu over rice, kimchi and fresh veggies.
Pea soup, beet salad, carrot salad, bread and pannakkau (dessert pancake) with fresh berries.
Local fish on a bed of arugula, pasta with tomato sauce, Caprese salad, baguette and some grapes.
"These images are not intended to be exact representations of school lunches, but instead, are meant to portray different types of foods found in cafeterias around the world," Sweetgreen clarified.
When it comes to the food served in US schools, the good news is American government sectors are currently working towards improving the quality of foods served in schools across the country.
For instance, by the time 2013 came around, all 1,300 of New York City's public elementary schools included fresh salad bars in their cafeterias. Moreover, Former First lady Michelle Obama was very passionate about creating better standards for children's meals and snacks. Plus in 2010, Former President, Barack Obama, signed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, which focused on creating healthier meals with more fruit and vegetables.
Let's hope American children will also be given the healthier options as soon as possible.