USDA may force schools to have lunch menus meet federal guidelines.
As part of a sweeping effort to help improve nutrition for schoolchildren schoolchildren school npl → écoliers mpl;
(at secondary school) → collégiens mpl; lycéens mpl
schoolchildren school and fight childhood obesity childhood obesity Public health Overweight in a child, an average BMI of ≥ 85% for age and sex; ≥ 95% for age and sex is very obese. See Body-mass index, Obesity. Cf Adult obesity. , USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture. is proposing for the first time to require schools to bring their cafeteria menus into compliance with the latest U.S. dietary guidelines dietary guidelines Cardiology A series of dietary recommendations from the Nutrition Committee of the Am Heart Assn, that promote cardiovascular health. See Caloric restriction, food pyramid, French paradox. . While the USDA has limited the sale of soda and some junk foods in school cafeterias, it has not required schools to implement the 2005 Dietary Guidelines, which call for increased consumption of whole grains, fruit and vegetables. Nor does it regulate vending machines, a la carte menus, or other food and beverages sold in schools outside the cafeteria, although a bill introduced by Sens. Tom Harkin Thomas Richard "Tom" Harkin (born November 19, 1939) is a Democratic Senator from Iowa, serving in his fourth senate term. A Democrat, he is currently Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry. Early life
Harkin was born in Cumming, Iowa. (D-Iowa) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) seeks to have it do that.
Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said, "We are proposing very significant increases in fruit and vegetables," adding that "we want to reach out to schools and give them more flexibility" in providing healthier options to students.
The plan is one of a handful of nutrition initiatives in the USDA's proposed 2007 farm bill. They include changing the name of and easing some eligibility requirements for the Food Stamp Program The US Food Stamp Program is a federal assistance program that provides food to low income people living in the United States. Benefits are distributed by the individual states, but the program is administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. , which serves about 26 million low-income and elderly people. Also included are proposals for nutrition education and a five-year, $100 million competitive grant program for combating obesity.
USDA is proposing to spend $6 million to provide guidance and technical assistance to school food professionals to bring cafeteria meals in line with the latest guidelines. Each year, the USDA provides 9 million breakfasts and 30 million lunches to students. Nearly 60 percent are served free or at a reduced price.