New school lunch nutrition standards – USDA

The USDA released a revision of USDA nutritional standards today. You can find the entire document here. In summary, the new rules lay out a food-based meal planning system in order to ensure nutrient targets are met. This plan increases the amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains served. It also includes efforts to limit saturated fat by means of restricting milk offerings to low or non-fat (flavored is still allowed in the non-fat variety). Additionally, the proposal provides new minimum and maximum caloric levels. Lots of progress, let’s keep the momentum alive!


Source: Federal Register, A Proposed Rule by the FNS 1/13/11


Research Update – Adolescent consumption of added sugars and heart health

A study just published by Circulation – the journal of the American Heart Association – concluded that consumption of  added sugars is positively associated with cardiovascular disease risk factors in adolescents. The survey of 2,157 youth aged 12 to 18 found that increased consumption of caloric sweeteners was significantly related to higher LDL cholesterol and total triglycerides – both known risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, the study found that added sugars made up a whopping 21.4% of daily caloric intake for the participants.

These data make a strong case for limiting the amount of added sugars in our diets. Let’s keep the future generation (and ourselves) healthy by reconsidering the sugar-laden food choices so common today.

Source: Circulation. (2011). Consumption of added sugars and cardiovascular disease risk among US adolescents. In print, doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.110.972166. – The Healthy Schools Campaign

Do Something’s Healthy Schools Campaign is a great opportunity for students to get involved in a Healthy Living project. The topic can vary – healthier school food, adding dance to your gym class options or getting rid of soda…  Inspiration and creativity will be rewarded: they’re offering incentives such as a school-wide party and $1,000 for college. Kids – GET ON IT!