The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to issue a rule to weaken the school food nutritional requirements of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2012. The rule would allow flavored milk with added sugar, waive requirement to provide whole grains, and delay reductions of sodium levels in school foods. PHAI submitted a comment to USDA opposing this rollback of healthy eating requirements for school food.
In addition to evidence-based arguments opposing the proposed “flexibilities,” the comment notes our research in collaboration with the Berkeley Media Studies Group from 2016 that examined nutrition and policy proposals in 11 states. We found that two-thirds of relevant legislative or regulatory documents containing at least one policy argument (n=91) argued in favor of the 2012 guidelines. More than half of those arguments raised in favor of the guidelines argued that the guidelines will allow food service directors to provide healthier options or that the guidelines will benefit children’s health. In every state except Oklahoma and Texas, there were more pro-guidelines arguments than anti-guidelines arguments presented.
To learn more about this rollback and to comment (through January 29, 2018) visit this link at Regulations.gov.
This comment was primarily authored by our policy associate, Emily Nink, MS, and edited by Mark Gottlieb, JD.