The following is a statement from Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, MD, MBA, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, regarding the release of updated school meal nutrition guidelines by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
“I commend the U.S. Department of Agriculture for taking this bold step to bring healthier meals to students across the nation. By adopting science-based nutrition advice, these guidelines contribute to the goal of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic while ensuring that our most vulnerable children get the foods and beverages they need to grow up strong and healthy.
I’m especially pleased that, in addition to limiting unhealthy fats and calories, the new guidelines also encourage students to eat more fruits and vegetables and try other healthy options, such as whole-grain breads and pastas and low- and non-fat milk.
These changes are badly needed. Although many schools have made significant improvements to their meal programs, we must ensure that all schools strive to provide more nutritious meals for students. These new standards will pave the way for a healthier future for millions of children—especially those most in need.”