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Mars Snackfood Urges U.S. Congress to Update National School Nutrition Standards
Date:3/31/2009

WASHINGTON, March 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In testimony today before the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Mars Snackfood US supported legislation to revise school food nutrition standards so that more nutritious products are available to students nationwide. The current federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside of the school meals programs in vending machines have not been updated since the late 1970s.

"Updated national school nutrition standards will ensure that children have access to a broad selection of healthier products," said Hank Izzo, Ph.D., vice president, research and development, Mars Snackfood US. In his testimony, Izzo urged lawmakers to support the so-called 35-10-35 formula, which means that snackfoods sold in schools would have no more than 35 percent of calories from fat, 10 percent from saturated fat, and less than 35 percent sugar by weight.

"Schools operate in a unique environment that warrants special treatment when it comes to nutrition standards," added Izzo. "At home, parents make decisions about food - but at school, children often make decisions about what to eat for themselves. An updated national school nutrition standard will make it easier for schools and food manufacturers to work together to ensure children make smart decisions about the foods they consume. It also will provide some peace of mind to parents, knowing that the products for sale in schools meet nutrition guidelines."

"Today, we understand so much more about the relationship between food and health," said Izzo, who urged lawmakers to establish new standards either by passing new legislation or through the regulatory process. "The time to act is now. We look forward to working with the Committee to draft legislative language to ensure that these new standards are implemented as quickly as possible."

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