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Posts Tagged ‘school lunch’

School Lunch: The Half Truth about Whole Grains

As the debate over school lunch nutrition standards continues in Congress, I’ve heard a number of claims that don’t ring true. Today I’ll look at an argument I’ve been hearing about the challenge of incorporating more whole grains into children’s lunches. Read More

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School Lunch Costs: What the Kiwi Are They Talking About?

Last week, Congress hosted the first of several hearings about the upcoming Child Nutrition Reauthorization act. This act includes the National School Lunch Program, which is reauthorized every five years. In 2010, a bipartisan Congress passed the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA)—which brought nutrition standards for schools into accord with federal dietary guidelines. As implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the law also requires students to take at least 1/2 cup of fruits and vegetables. Read More

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The School Nutrition Association—Opposing Better Nutrition in Schools Since 2013

It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. An organization representing tens of thousands of “lunch ladies” nationwide is leading the charge in Congress to roll back key healthy school lunch rules—including requirements for less sodium, more whole grains, and more fruits and vegetables on kids’ school lunch trays. Read More

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A Lunchroom Lesson: Repackaging Tobacco for a Food Fight, Part 2

In Part 1 on repackaging tobacco for a food fight, I focused on the tobacco industry’s arguments to misguide the public and influence policymakers. This week, I focus on public health’s arguments to counter tobacco and how we might extend this to the debate on the National School Lunch Program, which Congress is set to reauthorize this year. During the tobacco debate, the public health community focused on the individual rights of non-smokers, being the underdog in a fight against Big Tobacco (think “David versus Goliath”), and misinformation from the tobacco industry about the health consequences of smoking. Read More

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National School Lunch Program: Glass Half Empty or Half Full?

A March 13 article in U.S. News & World Report on the federal school nutrition standards barely gets a passing grade. Beyond misinterpreting the law, the article offers a narrow, glass-half-empty perspective for readers. For an increasingly politicized debate involving our nation’s children, it’s necessary to look at all the evidence. Read More

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School Lunch: Food Waste or Clean Plates?

If you give kids more fruits and vegetables, do they eat more? That’s a key question facing Congress as it gears up to debate legislation authorizing the National School Lunch Program and other healthy food initiatives for children. A new study from researchers at the University of Connecticut suggests the answer is “yes.” Read More

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Who’s Against Healthy School Lunches for Kids? (No Really, Who Is?)

Debates about child nutrition and the quality of taxpayer-subsidized school lunches are heating up in the nation’s capital. Last week, the Partnership for a Healthier America (the non-profit spin-off of the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” initiative) held its annual summit here. And this week, the School Nutrition Association, a trade group representing 55,000 school food service professionals, is holding a DC conference complete with “lunch ladies” lobbying members of Congress. Sounds great, right? Read More

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Lessons from the Lunchroom: What Do We Know About School Lunch and Kids’ Diet?

This week was the release of my first co-authored report at the Union of Concerned Scientists. Lessons from the Lunchroom: Childhood Obesity, School Lunch, and the Way to a Healthier Future details the extent of America’s childhood obesity crisis and how school meals play a role in influencing diet. Read More

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As School Year Ends, Will Congress Fail Lunch?

UPDATE (June 12, 3:40 p.m.): The House vote on the school nutrition waiver, expected last night, was postponed. According to reporting by the New York Times today, the vote has been delayed “until sometime next week,” although that could change. Meanwhile, the public can keep writing to Congress in support of healthy school meals!

A Congress that is already routinely failing science is poised to flunk an even simpler school subject: lunch. As early as this evening, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on a bill to fund the U.S. Department of Agriculture, including school nutrition programs. Shockingly, the bill they’ll vote on contains a provision that would roll back new healthy school food standards, just as they are starting to bear fruit. Read More

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Sorry, Teacher, this Apple’s for Me

Much has been made of last week’s Congressional action blocking new school lunch nutrition rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But while Congress may call pizza a vegetable, schools across the country are finding innovative ways to provide the real thing. Read More

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