“We must turn the tide on the obesity epidemic by instilling good eating
and exercise habits from an early age. Good nutrition starts at home,
but many kids get up to half of their daily calories at school so it
just makes sense to ensure they’re eating healthfully there, too,” write Maj. Gens. Michael Davidson and Allen Youngman.
“Unfortunately, there is a misguided effort afoot to enable schools to
retreat from these improved nutrition standards,” they write. “The move is driven by
complaints that some students are having trouble adjusting to the
healthier offerings, and that some schools are struggling to procure
healthier ingredients and the necessary equipment for preparing the new
meals. In response, the USDA is offering significant flexibility
to these schools. They permanently removed caps on proteins because of
the challenges some schools were facing, and offered flexibility on
rules regarding whole grain pasta. They also extended the grant period
for funds to help schools meet the new standards, and are providing
workshops to help schools that are struggling learn what works from
those that are succeeding.