In an effort to continue to overhaul school food and impact the high levels of childhood obesity, the U.S. Department of Agriculture proposed new standards on food sold at schools outside of the cafeteria.
You can read the press release from the USDA, which includes a summary of the changes, here.
Michelle LeCount, local doctor and coordinator for the Elkhart County Childhood Obesity Initiative, said for a past story I wrote about school food that changing school lunch requirements was only a start. She mentioned that vending machines in schools and bringing frosted cupcakes and other sweets in for birthday parties and other celebrations also needed to be addressed.
Of course, the USDA’s new standards will be more of an official move forward in an effort that has growing support. Groups like the Elkhart County Childhood Obesity Initiative are trying to work with schools at a local level, while First Lady Michelle Obama has established her Let’s Move campaign to get kids active and eating healthy.
Even this season of The Biggest Loser is focusing on childhood obesity.
The USDA’s proposed regulations include having schools offer more snacks with whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein foods as their main ingredients and fewer items with high amounts of fat, sugar and sodium.
The standards would also allow schools the flexibility for parents to bring in whatever treats for classroom birthday parties or bake sales. Again, you can read more on the USDA’s site.
The complete proposal is here and the USDA is looking for feedback from the public.
What more do you think can or should be done to prevent or reverse childhood obesity? What changes do you think should be made to snacking at school?
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