Target: House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi
Goal: Protect school children’s health while still satisfying their appetites
Kids need healthy, nutritious food in school, and it is time to fully implement USDA standards meant ensure healthier school meals. A recent study shows that if this is done, a significant change in students’ health will result. However, the GOP recently passed a bill lowering restrictions on certain guidelines for whole grains and sodium levels. These Republican lawmakers may further change the guidelines once they have control of both the House and Senate, and we must stop them.
A study done at the University of Michigan shows that between 2007 and 2012, only a very small percentage of students attended schools that began implementing the USDA’s standards. The numbers are as small as 1.8% of middle schoolers and 0.3% of high schoolers. Lower odds of obesity were found in the high schoolers that were offered more fruits and vegetables and lower fat milk. For Hispanic middle-schoolers and non-White high-schoolers, lower obesity rates attributed to the absence of sugar-sweetened beverages.
The researchers believe that, given the changes for such a small number of students, full implementation of the standards will create significantly positive results in the nutritional environment at schools. The changes will be difficult and currently do have some opposition, but only because the schools cannot implement them on their own. GOP lawmakers want to solve the problem by removing standards put in place to protect children’s health, but this is clearly not in the best interest of kids. A solution is needed from the government that provides extra training and incentives to the schools to create happier and fuller students. Sign the petition below to urge Nancy Pelosi to begin working with her fellow members of Congress to find a solution.
Dear Representative Pelosi,
Our country is going through interesting changes in school nutrition. On the one hand, children are battling against obesity, on the other hand, the government is battling the solution. A recent study shows that fully implementing the USDA’s nutritional standards into schools will greatly improve children’s health. However, the GOP recently passed a bill lowering the restrictions to schools regarding whole grains and sodium levels.
This study, published by the University of Michigan, shows that from 2007 to 2012 only a small percentage of students attended schools that implemented the USDA’s standards. Out of these students, the high schoolers who had more fruits and vegetables available and less-fat milk resulted in lower obesity rates. Lower obesity rates were also found in Hispanic middle schoolers and non-White high schoolers where sugar-sweetened beverages were removed. These are only a couple of the USDA’s standards but they are already showing results.
The GOP wants to relieve schools from these difficult changes but are risking children’s health by doing so. Instead of lowering restrictions for schools, the government needs to find solutions that will provide support through training and incentives and in turn will create fuller, healthier, happier children. I am asking you to start the conversation to find these solutions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: jarmoluk via Pixabay