At the beginning of the 2007–08 school year, more than 50 percent of all students nationwide were enrolled in a district with a policy that suggested or required school meal standards to meet or exceed the 2005 Dietary Guidelines. These nutritional guidelines are stricter than the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) school meal standards.
The bar graph shows the strength of the school meal guidelines outlined in district policies. Strong policy provisions are those that required action and specified an implementation plan or strategy. They included language such as shall, must, will, require, comply and enforce. Weak policy provisions offered suggestions or recommendations, and some required action, but only for certain grade levels or times of day. They included language such as should, might, encourage, some, make an effort to, partial and try.