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President Bill Clinton to Recognize 267 U.S. Schools for Efforts to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Date:9/29/2013

t the start of the 2012-13 school year for meals served through the federally funded National School Lunch Program. The guidelines required an increase of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains; a shift to low-fat or nonfat milk; and limits on calories, sodium, and unhealthy fats.

Findings from the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program, based on self-reported data from participating schools, reveal the following:

  • 100 percent of the 267 schools achieving recognition in 2013 are meeting or exceeding updated federal nutrition standards.
  • Schools in both low-income and more affluent communities are meeting or exceeding the new guidelines. In two-thirds of the recognized schools, more than 50 percent of students are eligible to receive free or reduced-price lunch, while nearly one-third of the schools serve a more affluent student population.
  • In addition to the schools receiving recognition, more than 95 percent of all schools that participate in the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program and have such data (n=3000+) are meeting or exceeding federal nutrition standards. Specifically:
    o 98 percent serve healthy breakfasts in addition to lunch.
    o 86 percent offer at least four fruit/vegetable options daily.
    o 85 percent confirm at least half of all grains served at breakfast and lunch are whole grain-rich.

Students get up to half of their daily nutrients from food consumed at school. School meals provide a direct way to influence the health of young people and help them establish good eating habits early in life.

“Childhood obesity may result in severe medical consequences for our kids as they grow older, which is why all schools should be a reliable source of healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity for both students and staff,” said Dr. Mariell Jessup, president of the American Heart
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