New Lunch Guidelines Reasonable but Costly


The Meriden Record Journal says new federal guidelines for school lunches are a reasonable reaction to the growing problem of childhood obesity.
The editorial reports that July 1 marked the start of updated nutrition rules under the federal Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and U.S. Department of Agriculture. To be implemented gradually over three years, altered regulations about what foodstuff schools serve will affect 32 million children nationwide. Under these adjustments, students must take a vegetable or fruit with meals. By 2014, every grain sold must be whole grain. Menus can offer milks only of low-fat varieties.
But, as the Record Journal observes, even the most altruistic plans come at a cost. “One main drawback to amendments is that they are, essentially, unfunded federal mandates. Washington D.C. has ordered all education districts to sell more health foods — which can be more expensive than ordinary alternatives — without providing financial assistance to help execute menu transformations. Moreover, this directive that schools increase cafeteria spending comes at a time when many academic departments are struggling against shrinking budgets in an uncertain economic atmosphere.”
Read the complete Meriden Record Journal editorial.