Nutrition Standards Urged for School Food

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacNut, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #1
    WASHINGTON (April 25) - Millions of children soon could be saying goodbye to regular colas, candy and salty snacks during school hours.

    Concerned about the rise of obesity in young people, Congress asked the Institute of Medicine to develop a set of standards for foods that would be available in schools.

    The Institute responded Wednesday with a two-tier system designed to encourage youngsters to eat more fruit, vegetables and whole grains and to avoid added sugars, salt and saturated fats.

    "The alarming increase in childhood obesity rates has galvanized parents and schools across the nation to find ways to improve children's diets and health, and we hope our report will assist that effort," said Virginia A. Stallings, chair of the committee that prepared the report.

    "Making sure that all foods and drinks available in schools meet nutrition standards is one more way schools can help children establish lifelong healthy eating habits," said Stallings, director of the nutrition center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

    And don't think their recommendation applies only to children. The committee also urged that Parent Teacher Associations adhere to the same standards, as should food items sold at school fund raisers.

    Foods sold in school cafeterias under federally assisted lunch programs already must meet nutritional standards. The IOM recommendation covers items considered competitive with those foods, such as items sold in vending machines and other food and drinks sold in the school but not under the federal program. The standards would not apply to bag lunches that students bring from home.

    The report now goes to Congress for consideration. Copies will also go to the Departments of Agriculture, Health and Human Services and Education and it will be available for state and local school boards and administrators and the food and beverage industry. Putting the recommendations into practice would involve federal, state or local laws and setting school standards and policies.

    Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said: "For the first time, we have gold-standard recommendations for school nutrition standards from one of America's most distinguished scientific bodies. And as it turns out, they are also just common sense - promoting fruit and vegetable consumption, and also seeking to reduce things like calories, fat, and sodium."

    Harkin, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said the "recommendations offer a tool kit for local, state, and federal policymakers who already know that we need to do more much more - to promote sound child nutrition and prevent childhood obesity."

    Foods listed as Tier 1 would be allowed at all grade levels during the school day and during after-school activities.

    These foods would have to provide at least one serving of fruits, vegetables, whole grains or nonfat or low-fat dairy, would be limited to 200 calories for snacks and would have limits for fat, sugar and salt.

    Examples of Tier 1 snacks were whole fruit, raisins, carrot sticks, whole-grain low-sugar cereals, some multigrain tortilla chips, some granola bars and nonfat yogurt with no more than 30 grams of added sugars. Entrees could include such items as fruit salad with yogurt or a turkey sandwich. Beverages would be limited to plain water, skim or 1 percent milk, soy beverages and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice.

    The IOM recommended that, because of their calorie content, juices be limited to 4-ounce servings for elementary and middle-school students and 8-ounce portions for high school students.

    Tier 2 foods would be available only to high school students and only after school hours.

    These foods would also be limited in calories, salt, sugar and fat and the drinks could have just have five or fewer calories per portion and no caffeine; they are not vitamin- or mineral-fortified, but may be carbonated and may contain flavoring or a sugar substitute.

    Examples include single servings of baked potato chips, low-sodium whole wheat crackers, graham crackers, pretzels, caffeine-free diet soda and seltzer water.

    Sports drinks would be available to students engaged in an hour or more of vigorous athletic activity, at the discretion of coaches.

    The committee said fortified water should not be available in either tier.

    The Institute of Medicine is a branch of the National Academy of Sciences, an independent organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters.
     
  2. MacNut thread starter macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #2
    I ate junk food when I was younger and I never became fat, This is another attempt of government telling us what we can and can't do or eat.

    Maybe before they rid us of junk food they should get the poisons out of the healthy food first.

    The fact is that as long as little Billy sits in front of the computer instead of going outside he will get out of shape no matter what he eats.
     
  3. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #3
    I hate this...my high school is thin, honestly I'd say where under weight! Its private school, so legal they didn't have to get rid of candy and soda(NJ has already past a low outlaw candy and soda!), but they did.


    Its crap...I'm in pretty good shape, not ripped, but not fat. Under weight and because some people overeat/don't exercise/do what it takes to stay decently fit, I lose my rights to eat what I want!
     
  4. iSaint macrumors 603

    iSaint

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    South Mississippi y'all, near the water!
    #4
    It's just another case of parents' failure (in the governments opinion) so they take over.

    They bake the fries at our school now, so the kids get a slush, fries, and Baked Hot Cheetos for lunch. Real healthly! :rolleyes:
     
  5. latergator116 macrumors 68000

    latergator116

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    Providence, RI
    #5
    A lot of times the "healthy" alterantives aren't much better. This year coke replaced all the soda in our school with diet soda. Now you can get a diet soda from any one of the 15 (fifteen) soda machines in my school.
     
  6. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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  7. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    #7
    Junk food is part of the megacorporate conspiracy to control our minds through unnatural chemicals and the downfall of our personal health. I think that it's good that the school are rebelling aginst the evil corporations who are trying to define who we are.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    School lunches can be done right, it just costs money.

    And healthy doesn't mean replacing soda with diet soda. That's just stupid.

    Of course, along with this problem is the fact that schools are cutting PE programs because of lack of funding.
     
  9. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    Birmingham, AL
    #9
    It's all interconnected. Cheaper, poorer quality food is leagues worse for you than real food. It's one of the reasons theres a correlation between being lower class (economically) and obesity - mac & cheese may only cost $1 a box and theoretically feeds four, but it's all carbs and fat. A nice salad with fresh vegetables is a better choice, but the ingredients can run 5 times the price (I'll admit - I get the expensive lettuce since I can't stand iceberg). Institutions for the most part like (or need) to do things on the cheap. Add to that the fact that a lot of poor kids often have to rely on said meals, and the end product is a nasty, out of control spiral.
     

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