Healthiness of School Lunches May Decrease

Posted on December 21, 2011 by

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Do you enjoy the current lunches the school provides, even if some are not the healthiest possible choices?

Because of a new bill from Congress, your school lunch choices aren’t going to be getting any healthier anytime soon.

The new bill, which was released 14 November, would decrease the limitations on serving potatoes in the lunch line. It would also allow pizza sauce to be counted as a vegetable. Many people consider this similar to the Reagan administration’s attempt to classify ketchup as a vegetable to cut costs 30 years ago.

Meals served by schools that are supported by the federal government must contain a certain amount of vegetables, explaining some of the attempts to classify these foods as vegetables by Congress.

These proposals are based on recommendations made in 2009 by the Institute of Medicine. The proposal was made by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack with the intention of cutting down childhood obesity.

This recent bill could become a big concern for health officials. Experts believe that unhealthy school lunches are the main cause for childhood obesity, and they’re probably right. Obesity rates in recent years have more than doubled for infants aged two to five, and they have more than tripled for adolescents aged twelve to nineteen.

These restrictions would also unravel recent efforts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to make school lunches healthier. The USDA was hoping to raise standards for school lunches, which included restrictions on sodium. They also wanted to boost the use of whole grains and limit the use of potatoes at the lunch line.

Like it or not, the bill creating these school lunch changes will come into effect. Despite many efforts by the Obama administration and the USDA to make healthier school lunches, it looks like efforts will be in vain.

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