Obesity epedimic prompts healthier school meals
For the first time in 15 years, the federal government is calling for
significant changes in school meals, including limiting the amount of
trans fat, salt and calories in the cafeteria and increasing the produce
and whole grains served. The hope is that the 32 million children who
participate daily in school meal programs will have more healthful foods
to chew on.
The proposed rule, which would raise reimbursements to schools by 6
cents a meal, was released on Thursday, and it is being applauded by
nutrition and children’s outreach groups across the country.
The proposed USDA changes would add more fruits, vegetables, whole
grains, fat-free and low-fat milk to school meals nationwide, while also
mandating limits in levels of saturated fats, sodium, calories and
In a news release, agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack said the country
is facing an “obesity epidemic,” prompting the suggested changes.
Many children consume as many as half their daily calories at school, he said.
Measures such as lowering calories from fat, offering more fruits and
vegetables and eliminating access to foods with no nutritional value
are already in place in Texas and many districts, such as
the AISD, go a step further by offering more fruits and vegetables than
the state requires.
“The United States is facing an obesity epidemic, and the crisis of poor diets threatens
wrote in a news release. “With many children consuming as many as half
their daily calories at school, strengthening nutritional standards is