The USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama have proposed guidelines that would, among other policies, curb the marketing in schools of food and beverages that do not meet the new “Smart Snacks in School” standards.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 mandated that the USDA set guidelines for what would be included in local school wellness policies in areas such as setting goals for nutrition education and physical activity, and informing parents about content of the policy and implementation, the USDA’s news release said.
The proposed guidelines come after the White House Summit on Food Marketing to Children last fall, at which Mrs. Obama called on the country to ensure children’s health was not undermined by marketing of unhealthy food.
To help schools with the implementation of the school wellness policies, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has launched a new “School Nutrition Environment and Wellness Resources” website, which includes sample wellness policy language for school districts and a dedicated page of resources for food marketing practices on the school campus.
The proposed guidelines, the resources website and other wellness programs go hand-in-hand with the agency’s plans to expand nationwide a pilot program to serve both breakfast and lunch to low-income students. Beginning July 1, 2014, more than 22,000 schools across the country will be eligible to serve healthy free lunches and breakfasts to all students. Research shows that kids who eat breakfast in the classroom preform over 17% better on math tests and have fewer disciplinary problems, the agency said in its release.
Source: meatingplace.com, 2-25-2014