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Capitol Health Call
March 13, 2013

Nutrition and School Lunches

JAMA. 2013;309(10):973. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.2063

The ranking member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, Sen Pat Roberts (R, Kan), said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has agreed with his request to grant schools flexibility in implementing the new nutrition guidelines for the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs.

The guidelines, which went into effect March 26, 2012, require schools to have available fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free and low-fat milk with the aim of meeting the nutritional needs of schoolchildren. But Roberts, in an October 3 letter to the USDA, said his constituents were concerned about excessive food waste resulting from children not wanting to eat the new meals and questioned whether such meals were providing adequate calories and protein for students involved in athletics, band, and other after-school activities.

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