Friday, March 6, 2009

Time to Update School Nutrition Standards

Thirty years ago, the Carter Administration set standards to ensure that foods sold in schools had at least 5% of an essential nutrient, like protein, Vitamin C or calcium. But the standards, still in effect, do nothing to limit fat, calories or sodium.

But that could change this year, as Congress must reauthorize the Child Nutrition Act with an amendment by U.S. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., and support from the Obama administration, 88 other members of Congress and a host of public health organizations including Partnership for Prevention. The new legislation would have the U.S. Department of Agriculture update the nutrition standards for foods sold alongside school meals in cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and elsewhere. Those standards would apply throughout the school day, and everywhere on campus.


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