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American Dietetic Association supports IOM recommendations on school meal programs
Date:10/22/2009

CHICAGO The American Dietetic Association welcomes a report issued Wednesday, October 21, by the Institute of Medicine encouraging federal school meal programs to adopt standards that increase the nutrition content and limit the calories in meals served to schoolchildren.

"The IOM's positive and progressive recommendations are very much in keeping with those that the American Dietetic Association has been making for a number of years to improve school meal quality," said registered dietitian and ADA Spokesperson Malena Perdomo. "This report represents a large step toward achieving healthier-eating goals for our children in schools."

The IOM report, School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children, offers specific recommendations for the types and amounts of foods that should be made available to children through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program. ADA also supports the IOM's recommendation that it is imperative the U.S. Department of Agriculture fund research to monitor measurable outcomes of the school meal programs.

"The IOM recommendations, and school breakfast and lunch programs in general, are just one component of what should be a comprehensive school wellness program. Students have other food sources at school, and the nutritional standards for those foods must be updated to ensure students receive consistent messages at school about food and nutrition," Perdomo said.

Perdomo said ADA strongly agrees with the IOM's recommendations, including:

  • More strongly align school meals with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans
  • Set standards for meal planning
  • Increase the amounts of fruits, vegetables and whole grains
  • Limit sodium and saturated fat
  • Reduce the content of sodium and trans fat
  • Ensure milk is low-fat or nonfat.

"The American Dietetic Association is committed to strengthening federal nutrition programs and focusing child nutriti
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Contact: Tom Ryan
media@eatright.org
American Dietetic Association
Source:Eurekalert

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