New U.S. school snack food rules clamp down on calories, fat

FadDiets

Snacks sold in U.S. schools must be lower in fat, salt and sugar, according to federal rules release Thursday aimed at giving students more nutritious options and fighting childhood obesity.

The regulations, originally due in 2011, largely mirror the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s proposal from February that limited the fat, salt and sugar content in school snacks and capped portion sizes.

The standards are seen as a critical step in improving students’ eating options under a 2010 law revamping school foods.

Many U.S. children eat more than half of their daily calories at school. The regulations will cover some 50 million children attending more than 100,000 schools that are part of the federal school lunch program.

The standards only apply to foods and beverages sold on school campuses during the day, and limit vending machine snacks to a maximum of 200 calories per item – less than, for example, many regular-sized candy bars.

Food sold at after-school activities, such as sporting events, is not subject to the regulations.

“This is an historic nutrition policy that will do a lot to improve children’s diets and address high rates of childhood obesity,” Margo Wooten, director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, told Reuters.

“Parents won’t have to worry their kids are using their money to buy junk foods and sugary drinks instead of buying a healthy lunch,” Wooten said.

All foods sold must meet competitive nutrient standards, meaning they must have fruits, vegetables, dairy or protein in them or contain at least 10 percent of the daily value of calcium, potassium, vitamin D or dietary fiber.

USDA gave the public 60 days to comment after it released its proposals in February. The final guidelines, while mostly unchanged, have incorporated a stricter calorie limit on drinks in high schools.

Twelve-ounce drinks cannot exceed 60 calories, less than the calorie count of most sodas.

And the portion sizes vary between age groups. Younger students will be able to buy water, 100 percent juice, and low-fat and fat-free milk in 8-ounce servings, while high school students can also purchase 20-ounce calorie-free drinks.

By improving the choices available to U.S. students outside of breakfast and lunch, officials hope to make a dent in childhood obesity in a nation where one-third of those under age 18 are considered overweight or obese.

“Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has spoken often of his own negative experiences as an overweight child.

“You really can’t concentrate and you cannot be the student you were intended to be if you are worried about what people think of you, so weight has always been an issue for me,” Vilsack said in a speech in Portland, Maine in March.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Preachers rail at NYPD at Eric Garner's funeral

Preacher after preacher stepped up to the pulpit at a sweltering Brooklyn church on Wednesday to express fury at the city's police force during the funeral of Eric Garner, who…

Local

Newark schools probed after claims of race discrimination

The U.S. Department of Education said on Wednesday it was investigating complaints that a plan to reorganize public schools in Newark, New Jersey, discriminates against black students.

National

Dogs are capable of feeling jealousy - U.S.…

By Curtis Skinner(Reuters) - Dogs are a man's best friend, and research released on Wednesday says canines want to keep it that way.Dogs are capable…

Local

G train riders brace for five-week shutdown

G train service will be suspended between Brooklyn and Queens between Friday, July 25, and Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Going Out

Where to go drinking on National Tequila Day…

Thursday is just close enough to the end of the week to make you envision yourself already sunning on a beach towel or lounging by…

Going Out

Things to do in NYC this week: July…

Performing arts A 70’s Summer Night Friday, 6:30 p.m. The Green Building 452 Union St., Gowanus $35, 347-529-6473 Party like it’s summer in the 1970s…

Going Out

5 must-try dishes at Edible Manhattan's Good Beer

Rooting out the exotic amid the New York City bar scene is noble quest. But if you’d like to have it all come to you,…

Books

Art imitates life (almost) in David Shapiro's new…

David Shapiro talks about his book, "You're Not Much Use To Anyone."

NFL

Jerry Reese confident with Giants, skipping countdown clocks…

Last year, Giants GM Jerry Reese installed a countdown clock in the locker room to inspire Big Blue to play in their own stadium for Super Bowl XLVIII.

MLB

Brandon McCarthy finds his calling on Twitter

Yankees starter Brandon McCarthy joined Twitter three year ago for the same reason many people do: to get news quickly.

Sports

NBA great LeBron James sends 800 cupcake apologies…

By Kim PalmerCLEVELAND (Reuters) - NBA star LeBron James, whose recent return to the Cleveland Cavaliers in his home state of Ohio sparked a frenzy…

NFL

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running…

Fantasy football: Johnny Manziel could give your running game a boost

Food

Recharge with a post-workout smoothie from Nicky Hilton

Some people can roll out of bed right as their alarm goes off. And that alarm isn’t set for 20 minutes before they have to…

Education

Colleges are increasingly embracing the concept of gender-neutral…

  Northwestern University recently made headlines after announcing that it would be installing two gender-neutral bathrooms in the university's student center. “These are two gender-open…

Career

How to prepare to interview for your dream…

    Congratulations! You landed a job interview at your dream company! A lot of hard work has gone into determining which companies to apply…

Style

The shirtdress is a summer must-have

  We love throwing on our boyfriend’s shirt and a pair of jeans (no matter how much he grumbles that it’s his turn to wear the…