170986 Nutrition Standards for Competitive Foods in Schools Are We There Yet?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 8:30 AM

Tracy A. Fox, MPH, RD , Food, Nutrition & Policy Consultants, LLC, Washington, DC
Terry O'Toole, PhD , Division of Adolescent and School Health, CDC, Atlanta, GA
Margo G. Wootan, DSc , Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC
Lynn Parker , Food and Nutrition Board, Institue of Medicine, Washington, DC
One of the foremost topics in school nutrition is the implementation of strong nutrition standards for foods and beverages served outside of the school meals program (commonly referred to as competitive foods/beverages items often found in vending machines, school stores, and in the cafeteria along side the school meal). While USDA's school meal programs (breakfast and lunch) must meet detailed nutrition standards set by Congress, the federal standards for competitive foods and beverages are outdated and allow for the sale of many low-nutrition foods. Nutrition science has evolved and the current standards need to be updated to be consistent with science and current dietary patterns. Attempts to establish, in law, a set of national standards have not come to fruition. This lack of strong national standards for competitive foods/beverages, coupled with the increased urgency and interest in improving the dietary intake of youth, has led many states and districts to adopt their own set of standards. This session will present a framework for formulating updated standards using the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report: Nutrition Standards for Healthy Schools: Leading the Way toward Healthier Youth (April 2007), a set of scientifically-based nutrition standards. Also, this session will highlight successful efforts occurring across the county to improve competitive foods, will explore the pros and cons of nutrition standards at all levels - federal, state and local, and will present practical strategies to continue the positive momentum in promoting healthy food and beverage choices at school.

Learning Objectives:
(a) Describe benefits and challenges in setting national standards for competitive foods. (b) Identify the implications of the IOM nutrition standards for existing school nutrition policies. (c) Develop action steps and share success stories for local, state and federal school staff and policy officials that will improve nutrition in schools.

Keywords: Child Health Promotion, Food and Nutrition

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I do not stand to gain in any financial way from the presentation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.