The public is encouraged to review the proposal and to provide comments and information for consideration by USDA. The text of the proposed rule is available online from USDA. Once the rule is published in the Federal Register, which is expected next week, the public will be able to provide feedback through. USDA will seek public comment on the proposal for 60 days.
Earlier this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report that analyzed state policies for food and beverages served outside the school lunch line which noted that 39 states already have a state law, regulation or policy in place related to the sale or availability of snack foods and beverages in schools. In many cases, local level (district and school) policies and practices exceeded state requirements or recommendations. USDA's proposal would establish a national baseline of these standards, with the overall goal of improving the health and nutrition of our kids.
These proposed standards are part of a bi-partisan package of changes passed by Congress in 2010 designed to ensure that students have healthy options in school. Other parts of that package include updated nutrition standards for federally-subsidized school meals that provide children more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; additional funding for schools to support improved meals; and guidance on stronger local wellness policies.
Collectively these policies will help combat child hunger and obesity and improve the health and nutrition of the nation's children; a top priority for the Obama Administration. The proposed rule announced today is an important component of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to combat the challenge of childhood obesity.
USDA's Food and Nutrition Service administers America's nutrition assistance programs including the National School Lunch and School Breakfast programs, the Summer Food Service Program, and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). Together these programs make up the federal nutrition safety net.