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Wed Apr 24, 2024, 01:49 PM Apr 24

Biden administration toughens school nutrition standards [View all]

Source: Reuters

April 24, 2024 12:13 PM EDT Updated 2 hours ago

April 24 (Reuters) - The Biden administration on Wednesday announced new rules limiting the sugar and sodium content of meals served to millions of children at U.S. public schools.

The standards unveiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture are part of President Joe Biden's broader effort to combat diet-related disease such as childhood obesity. "We all share the goal of helping children reach their full potential," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in announcing the new standards.

The plan will, for the first time, require schools to limit added sugars in meals nationwide by 2027, as well as slightly reduce sodium content, according to the USDA. It also seeks to make it easier for schools to offer protein-rich and vegetarian options and encourage districts to buy locally grown or raised foods.

Starting in 2025, the standards will also impose limits on the percentage of food grown or raised outside the United States, the USDA said – a move aimed at supporting U.S. farmers. "The new standards build on the great progress that school meals have made already and address remaining challenges," said USDA Food and Nutrition Service Administrator Cindy Long.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-administration-toughens-school-nutrition-standards-2024-04-24/

Link to USDA PRESS RELEASE - Biden-Harris Administration Announces New School Meal Standards to Strengthen Child Nutrition
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