First Lady Obama, USDA Secretary Vilsack Do Lunch

New rule includes provisions that will regulate all foods sold in schools, including in vending machines. The proposed rule may move the First Lady’s goal of reducing obesity in a generation a step closer to reality.

It was just over a year ago that President Obama signed into lawThe Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. This act adds $3.2 billion to the pot (originally estimated at $4.5 billion) and reauthorized child nutrition programs for five years.

This act offered many improvements – giving USDA authority to set nutritional standards for foods sold in schools, increased the amount of reimbursement to the schools that meet updated nutritional requirements, make improvements of nutritional quality of commodity foods that schools receive from USDA, and make information about the foods they serve available to parents, to name just a few.

The objective is relatively simple: provide the 31 million children grades K-12 who rely on school lunch, “nutrient dense meals and to empower them with healthy eating habits to reverse obesity and the diseases created by this epidemic.” The USDA reports, “that many of these children receive most, if not all, of their meals at school,” and that, “one out of three children in the U.S. are now considered overweight or obese.”

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