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Health Agencies Update
September 27, 2016

Final Rules for School Nutrition

JAMA. 2016;316(12):1249. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.13573

Four final rules on school nutrition and wellness recently announced by the Obama administration are poised to improve the health of US children. The rules carry out provisions of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act (HHFKA), passed in 2010. (http://bit.ly/2b4om8C).

The new rules include standards for healthy snacks and food or beverage marketing during the school day. The nutritional quality of snacks sold during the school day must now be consistent with science-based improvements that have already been made to school breakfast and lunches. For example, snacks must be whole grain-rich or have as the first ingredient a fruit, vegetable, dairy product, or protein food, or contain at least one-fourth cup of fruits or vegetables. The changes also make it easier for schools with high poverty rates to participate in free breakfast and lunch programs, and update the state administration review process for monitoring federally funded school meal programs. More than 18 000 US schools in impoverished areas participate in these programs, which provide meals and snacks for 8.5 million students.

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