Somehow making school lunches healthier became a political issue in recent years. The Obama administration pushed for less salt, fat and sugar in school lunches. Then the Trump administration did the opposite. Now, with Biden in the White House, federal regulators are ready to bring out restrictions on salt and added sugar in school lunches.
Associated Press reported that the USDA “proposed new nutrition standards for school meals, including the first limits on added sugars, with a focus on sweetened foods such as cereals, yogurt, flavored milk and breakfast pastries.
“The plan announced by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also seeks to significantly decrease sodium in the meals served to the nation’s schoolkids by 2029, while making the rules for foods made with whole grains more flexible.
The goal is to improve nutrition and align with U.S. dietary guidelines in the program that serves breakfast to more than 15 million children and lunch to nearly 30 million children every day, Vilsack said.”
Unfortunately, the first limits of added sugars wouldn’t;t go into effect until the 2025-2026 school year, after another national election that could upend these plans all over again.
Children’s health should not be a political issue, just as the country’s obesity epidemic should not be a political issue. Both need to be addressed, and soon.