Forge ahead with school meal guidelines - The Packer

Forge ahead with school meal guidelines

09/28/2012 09:27:00 AM
Ray Gilmer


What’s more, the USDA’s message to “Make half your plate fruits and vegetables” is one of the key consumer messages of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.

Recognizing that on average most Americans, including children, eat less than half of the daily amount of fruits and vegetables recommended for good health, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines provide a clear, compelling call to add significantly more servings of fruits and vegetables. This advice applies to all meals, including school breakfast and school lunch.

Anyone who’s still upset about these new, more nutritious school lunches should consider the alternative.

With more than 12 million American kids ranked as obese, the health implications are alarming.

Just last week, a comprehensive review of existing research, published in the British Medical Journal, finds that obese children have higher blood pressure, troubling cholesterol profiles, more metabolic dysfunction and thicker heart muscles than lean kids of the same age.

With so much at stake, does anyone really think we should backtrack on these new lunch standards?

United Fresh applauds USDA, nutrition leaders and schools across the nation for championing these more healthful school lunches. Without a doubt, this is a big change, and with change come challenges. School nutrition experts at 100,000 schools in the U.S. are professionals. They will work to find solutions that keep kids fed while meeting the modern standards.

Let’s not lose sight of what we’ve accomplished, our commitment for a healthier America, and the wellbeing of millions of children who can live longer, healthier lives thanks to what we’re feeding them at school today.

Ray Gilmer is vice president of communications for the Washington, D.C.-based United Fresh Produce Association.

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