State Ag Leaders Want School Lunch Changes

U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer services Janey Thornton, stopped by Taylor Elementary in Cedar Rapids, Wednesday. The reason for the visit was to confirm that Iowa schools will share $340,000.00 to make school lunches healthier. Photographed by Mark Benischek October 12, 2011. (Mark Benischek/SourceMedia Group News)


By Kara Kelly

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture is calling on the federal government to revise new standards for school meals.

North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring introduced the policy statement that was approved by the group during its annual meeting in Des Moines, Iowa, this week. It says the new standards are well-intentioned but won't solve the problem of childhood obesity.

The standards approved by the federal Agriculture Department earlier this year set limits on calories and require schools to offer at least one vegetable or fruit per meal. Critics say the lunches are too light for some active teens and leave them hungry.

Goehring says children from low-income families might be affected most by the new standards because school lunches might be the most nutritious meals they get.

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