Washington, D.C. — American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following statement on the release of the final nutrition standards for school meals announced today by First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack:
“For the first time in a generation, America’s children will have better choices when they get in line at their school cafeterias.
The new U.S. Department of Agriculture nutrition standards are a huge win for kids’ health that will greatly improve the selection of foods and beverages sold in schools. When put into place across the country, these guidelines will play a critical role in helping young Americans maintain a healthy weight, and ensure their lives are free of heart disease and stroke.
Unfortunately, this victory is not yet complete. The American Heart Association was extremely disappointed that recent congressional interference with the USDA standards will allow schools to keep french fries and pizza on the daily menu. In addition, the association is concerned that children are going to continue to consume too much salt because the timeline to apply sodium standards in school meals is lengthy.
The association looks forward to working with the USDA, state legislatures and departments of education, and local schools districts to apply — and improve — the new nutrition standards.”