The major items?
- School lunch - with all its dietary guidelines - should be the primary source of nutrition for school children. (This GAO report on school lunch reveals its shortcomings).
- Competing foods to school lunch should be limited
- When available, competing foods should *gasp* meet the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and related combination products* and nonfat and low-fat dairy that are limited to 200 calories or less per portion as packaged.These restrictions would apply anywhere on the school campus including vending machines and the "a la carte" lines. Remember when you could still get a burger and fries at school? That's over, because all items sold will have to meet the National School Lunch standards for fat, sodium, and sugar.
- Water without flavoring, additives, or carbonation.
- Low-fat (1%) and nonfat milk:
- Lactose-free and soy beverages are included
- flavored milk with no more than 22g of total sugars per 8-oz. serving
- 100-percent fruit juice in 4-oz. portion as packaged for elementary/middle school and 8 oz. (two portions) for high school.
- Caffeine-free, with the exception of trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine substances.
Tier 2 foods don't have to be quite so healthy - no mention of fruits or veggies - but you won't likely find a Twinkie here either. Diet soda pop clears the 5-calorie hurdle, but only if it lacks caffeine:
Tier 2 snack foods are those that do not exceed 200 calories per portion as packaged and:Despite the fact that these items are recommendations to Congress (not even close to actual standards for schools), the food and beverage lobby is already coming out swinging:
Tier 2 beverages are:
- No more than 35 percent of total calories from fat
- Less than 10 percent of total calories from saturated fats
- Zero Trans fat (≤ 0.5 g per portion)
- 35 percent or less of calories from total sugars
- Sodium content of 200 mg or less per portion as packaged.
- Non-caffeinated, non-fortified beverages with less than 5 calories per portion as packaged (with or without nonnutritive sweeteners, carbonation, or flavoring).
The Center for Consumer Freedom worried that the report could lead to a government "no child with a fat behind" program.Folks, we could only hope for an America that has "no child with a fat behind."
The growing rate of obesity is caused by lack of physical activity rather than overeating, according to the group, which describes itself as representing restaurants, food companies and individuals.
For all the gritty details of the Institute's recommendations, check out their fact sheet. For more on efforts to improve nutrition in schools, check out former President Clinton's success with a voluntary restriction on soda pop in school vending machines.