Department of Agriculture Announcement
Announced on May 1, 2017
As a result of what was said to be years of feedback from students, schools and food service experts, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue has announced a greater flexibility in the current nutrition requirements for schools set by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010; restoring local control of food guidelines for sodium, whole grains and milk. Citing that students are not eating new options, as well as the financial burden of the new regulations, the department proclaimed that they would “make school lunch great again.” States will now be able to grant exemptions regarding whole grain standards and sodium reductions will be postponed for at least three years. Milk requirements will also change to allow for 1 percent flavored milk as opposed to only skim. LEARN MORE
Since 1970, the percentage of obese U.S children has more than tripled. These food guidelines, an important piece of former first lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign, were aimed at cutting down on the number of children suffering from obesity, which the CDC says causes long-term physical and emotional distress. The relaxation of these guidelines has nutrition advocates criticizing the Dept. of Agriculture for not thinking about the long-term effects. Explaining that more sugar and sodium will put children at greater risk for heart disease and stroke, the American Heart Association has denounced the decision. “We strongly urge the agency and Congress not to give politics priority over the health of our children,” said Nancy Brown, chief executive of the AHA. LEARN MORE
- The American Heart Association – Support the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke.
- Contact your state legislators – Call your representatives and let them know how much you value the guidelines!
- Alliance for a Healthier Generation – The Alliance works to combat childhood obesity by working with schools, companies, community organizations, healthcare professionals, and families to transform the conditions and systems that lead to healthier kids.
This Brief was compiled by Cindy Stansbury. If you have comments or want to add the name of your organization to this Brief please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.