December 12, 2018

Healthier Generation Statement: Schools Should Continue Serving Healthy Meals

December 12, 2018 – Although the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule last week to roll back school nutrition standards, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation (Healthier Generation) will remain steadfast in its commitment to support and encourage schools across the country to strive for optimum levels of nutrition in all school meals and snacks. We encourage all schools, companies and community organizations with whom we have worked tirelessly over the past 12 years to continue to join us in achieving this bold goal of reducing child obesity and improving health outcomes. The recent USDA rule eliminates final sodium target, decreases the amount of whole grains, and allows 1 percent flavored milk in school meals.  

We believe that everyone has a role to play in creating health-promoting environments where our kids can learn more and thrive. That is why we will continue our work with schools, communities, afterschool sites, and food, beverage and e-commerce companies to develop innovative strategies that shape supply, improve access, and create demand for healthier options. Healthier Generation has seen exceptional progress from thousands of schools in meeting or exceeding national standards required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which were derived from the best scientific evidence of children’s dietary needs. In fact, a 2016 news report from the USDA indicated that more than 99 percent of schools nationally reported that they were meeting existing standards. 

Schools are well on their way to achieving higher standards of nutrition, physical activity and social-emotional health that will benefit the whole child’s health and development. Healthier Generation applauds and supports their efforts, as well as the companies and community groups that are doing their part. We continue to stand by all schools committed to serving healthier meals and will continue to provide training, technical assistance, tools, and resources necessary to strengthen the health of our children. Healthier Generation’s comment letter on USDA’s interim final school meal flexibility rule is available here.