USDA strength­ens nu­tri­tion stan­dards

Cecil Whig - - WE ATHE R -

Agri­cul­ture Un­der­sec­re­tary Kevin Con­can­non re­cently an­nounced strength­ened nu­tri­tion stan­dards for food and bev­er­ages served to young chil­dren and oth­ers in day care set­tings at the an­nual con­fer­ence of the Na­tional Child and Adult Care Food Pro­gram Sponsors As­so­ci­a­tion.

Young chil­dren and adults in day care will now re­ceive meals with more whole grains, a greater va­ri­ety of veg­eta­bles and fruits, and less added sug­ars and sol- id fats. The sci­ence-based stan­dards in­tro­duced in this fi­nal rule will el­e­vate the nu­tri­tional qual­ity of meals and snacks pro­vided un­der the CACFP to bet­ter align with the Di­etary Guide­lines for Amer­i­cans and to be con­sis­tent with the meals chil­dren re­ceive as part of the Na­tional School Lunch Pro­gram and School Break­fast Pro­gram.

“Re­search in­di­cates that Amer­ica’s obe­sity prob­lem starts young, with obe­sity rates in preschool­ers more than dou­bling over the last three decades and one in eight preschool­ers clas­si­fied as obese,” said Con­can­non. “Since taste pref­er­ence and eat­ing habits de­velop early in life, CACFP could play a cru­cial role in the so­lu­tion. This fi­nal rule marks an­other im­por­tant step to­ward en­sur­ing young chil­dren have ac­cess to the nu­tri­tion they need and de­velop healthy habits that will con­trib­ute to their well-be­ing over the long term.”

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