health

School snacks would be healthier under new standards

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Feb. 18, 2013

Print  |   Email  |   Respond  |   Reprints  |   Like Facebook  |   Share Twitter  |   Tweet Linkedin

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture has proposed new nutrition standards to ensure that children have access to healthy food options in school. The plan, Smart Snacks in School, was issued on Feb. 1. Physicians and other community members have 60 days to comment on the details by going online (link).

The proposal is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which President Obama signed into law in December 2010. That legislation aims to improve child nutrition in part by requiring the USDA to establish nutrition standards for all foods that are sold in schools.

Highlights of the recently proposed plan include:

  • Offering healthy snacks that contain as their main ingredient whole grains, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables or protein.
  • Ensuring that snack food is lower in fat, sugar and sodium.
  • Allowing variation by age group for beverage portion size and caffeine content.
  • The recommended standards were created using guidance from the Institute of Medicine and existing voluntary standards that already are implemented by schools nationwide, the USDA said.

    Under the proposed rules, children still could bring lunches to school and share treats with classmates for activities such as birthdays and holiday celebrations, the USDA said. The plan also would permit schools to continue occasional bake sale traditions (link).

    If approved, the plan would affect only foods sold on school campuses during the school day. Products sold at after-school sporting events and other activities will not be subject to the requirements, the USDA said. States and schools with stronger standards than those proposed by the USDA can maintain their own policies, according to the agency.

    Back to top


    RELATED CONTENT

    ADVERTISEMENT

    ADVERTISE HERE


    Featured
    Read story

    Confronting bias against obese patients

    Medical educators are starting to raise awareness about how weight-related stigma can impair patient-physician communication and the treatment of obesity. Read story


    Read story

    Goodbye

    American Medical News is ceasing publication after 55 years of serving physicians by keeping them informed of their rapidly changing profession. Read story


    Read story

    Policing medical practice employees after work

    Doctors can try to regulate staff actions outside the office, but they must watch what they try to stamp out and how they do it. Read story


    Read story

    Diabetes prevention: Set on a course for lifestyle change

    The YMCA's evidence-based program is helping prediabetic patients eat right, get active and lose weight. Read story


    Read story

    Medicaid's muddled preventive care picture

    The health system reform law promises no-cost coverage of a lengthy list of screenings and other prevention services, but some beneficiaries still might miss out. Read story


    Read story

    How to get tax breaks for your medical practice

    Federal, state and local governments offer doctors incentives because practices are recognized as economic engines. But physicians must know how and where to find them. Read story


    Read story

    Advance pay ACOs: A down payment on Medicare's future

    Accountable care organizations that pay doctors up-front bring practice improvements, but it's unclear yet if program actuaries will see a return on investment. Read story


    Read story

    Physician liability: Your team, your legal risk

    When health care team members drop the ball, it's often doctors who end up in court. How can physicians improve such care and avoid risks? Read story