Healthier school meals to curb weight related problems in U.S. kids
In an attempt to curb obesity from childhood, the schools in the U.S. have called for new norms for making school meals healthier and more nutritious.
Reportedly, new guidelines have been launched by US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that focuses on improving school meals, to tackle obesity and other health-related disorders.
Vilsack said, “Children get about a third of their calories in school and that the number needs to be reduced to head off ‘serious consequences’ relating to their health and also national security.”
He said that nearly 9 million American adults were considered incapable of serving the military, on grounds of weight and health. Thus, these new guidelines would be implemented from 2011-2012 in schools across the nation.
“The proposed rules would add more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk to school meals and are based on recommendations from the Institute of Medicine. Schools would be required to limit levels of saturated fat, sodium, calories and trans fat in meals,” informed Vilsack.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the new norms would help in upgrading school meals for almost 32 million children.
Urgent need for new rules
Talking about the importance of these proposed healthy meals in schools guidelines, the Agriculture Secretary said that they were very vital for better health of the children.
He said, “With many children consuming as many as half their daily calories at school, strengthening nutritional standards is an important step in the Obama administration’s effort to combat childhood obesity and improve the health and well-being of all our kids.”
Margo G. Wootan, nutrition policy director of USDA said that these would help in stopping unnecessary weight-gain in American kids.
According to the USDA statistics, 32 percent of U.S. kids in the age bracket of 6 to 19 years were overweight and the numbers are increasing at an alarming rate.