USDA Moves to Weaken School Nutrition Standards

November 29, 2017

WASHINGTON, DC – November 29, 2017 – Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced an interim final rule that would weaken nutrition standards for school meals and beverages.

The rule, which takes effect beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, would allow schools to serve 1 percent and nonfat flavored and non-flavored milk and allow schools to apply for an exemption to serve refined grains instead of whole grains; rolling back recent progress to improve school nutrition and children’s health. 

A statement from Chris Hansen, president for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), follows: 

“Considering one in five cancer diagnoses is attributable to poor diet, physical inactivity, and overweight and obesity, it’s essential for the agency to strengthen, not weaken, the nutritional quality of school foods. Eating habits are often established at a young age and having access to healthy foods at school helps start children on a path toward lifelong health.

“We urge the agency and Congress to maintain evidence-based nutrition standards for all foods sold and served in schools rather than risk reversing progress that most schools have already made setting our nation’s youth on a healthier course.”


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