On Wednesday, January 25, First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack announced the updated standards for school meals required by the legislation. Beginning next school year, the 32 million children who participate in federal school lunch and breakfast programs will be provided with more servings and a greater variety of fruits and vegetables and more whole grains. Meals will have to meet healthy standards for trans fat and sodium and all milk served to students will be low-fat or non-fat.
The American Diabetes Association advocated strongly for passage of the bill last Congress, including letters, Hill and other stakeholder meetings and grassroots engagement. The Association supported the proposed rule on improving the nutrition of school meals and submitted positive comments in April, 2011. We look forward to seeing these improvements brought to our schools later this year. We are also awaiting updated federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside of school meals—in vending machines, a la carte lines and school stores—due out this year as well.