Chips, sodas out, healthier fare in with new school snack rules
USDA's proposals go beyond school meals to vending machines.
(HealthDay)—The days when U.S. children can get themselves a sugary soda or a chocolate bar from a school vending machine may be numbered, if newly proposed government rules take effect.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Friday issued new proposals for the type of foods available at the nation's school vending machines and snack bars. Out are high-salt, high-calorie fare, to be replaced by more nutritious items with less fat and sugar.
"Providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines and snack bars will complement the gains made with the new, healthy standards for school breakfast and lunch so the healthy choice is the easy choice for our kids," USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in an agency new release.
The new proposed rules focus on what are known as "competitive foods," which include snacks not already found in school meals. The rules do not pertain to bagged lunches brought to school from home, or to special events such as birthday parties, holiday celebrations or bake sales—giving schools what the USDA calls "flexibility for important traditions." After-school sports events are also exempted, the agency said.
However, when it comes to snacks offered elsewhere, the USDA recommends they all have either fruit, vegetables, dairy products, protein-rich foods, or whole-grain products as their main ingredients.
As for drinks, the USDA is pushing for water, unflavored low-fat milk, flavored or unflavored fat-free milk, and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices. High schools may also make caffeinated beverages and calorie-free sodas available to students.
As the USDA noted, a report issued earlier this week by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that 39 states have already implemented similar rules on school-based snacks. The new USDA rules "would establish a national baseline of these standards," the agency said.
The proposals are now open for a 60-day period of public comment, and schools do not have to implement them until after a full school year passes following the rules' final adoption by the USDA.
The nonprofit consumer advocate group Center for Science in the Public Interest said it "cheered" the new proposals.
"Under USDA's proposed nutrition standards, parents will no longer have to worry that their kids are using their lunch money to buy junk food at school," the group's nutrition policy director, Margo Wootan, said in a news release.
"There's been good progress on school foods over the last decade as a result of local school district and state policies and voluntary efforts by the soft-drink industry," she added.
"But still, there are too many unhealthy foods and drinks in schools. Two-thirds of elementary school students and almost all high school students can buy foods and beverages outside of the meal programs in schools," Wootan said. "Studies show that unhealthy snacks and drinks sold in schools undermine children's diets and increase their weights."
More information: There's more on the new school snack proposals at the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- New rules aim to get rid of junk foods in schools Feb 02, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Rules would make school snacks healthier Feb 01, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
- Sugary sports drinks plentiful at U.S. schools: study Aug 06, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Poll shows strong voter support for school nutrition standards Apr 19, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- Children who eat vended snack foods face chronic health problems, poor diet Sep 02, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
The gap between life expectancy in patients with a mental illness and the general population has widened since 1985 and efforts to reduce this gap should focus on improving physical health, suggest researchers in a paper ...
Health 8 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Failure to use linked electronic health records may lead to biased estimates of heart attack incidence and outcome, warn researchers in a paper published in BMJ today.
Health 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
Dietary advice on added sugar is damaging our health, warns a cardiologist in BMJ today. Dr. Aseem Malhotra believes that "not only has this advice been manipulated by the food industry for profit but it is actually a risk ...
Health 8 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0
(HealthDay)—In 2008 to 2010, the prevalence of key health behaviors among U.S. adults varied, with about one in five adults current smokers and 62.1 percent overweight or obese, according to a report presented ...
Health 11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0
(HealthDay)—The overall health of Americans isn't improving much, with about six in 10 people either overweight or obese and large numbers engaging in unhealthy behaviors like smoking, heavy drinking or ...
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
15 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
13 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (11) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
15 hours ago | 4.6 / 5 (7) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
9 hours ago | 3.7 / 5 (3) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
10 hours ago | 5 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
11 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 0 |