Back in February, USDA released proposed rules for district wellness policies which, if implemented, will hold schools and districts far more accountable in improving their campus health environments. Among other advances, the new rules ask districts to set specific wellness goals (versus the vague, purely aspirational statements contained in most policies around the country right now) and would require each school in a district to report annually on its progress in meeting those goals.
Another big leap forward is a provision which would require schools to limit on-campus food and beverage marketing to only those items which meet the relatively stringent nutritional requirements of the new “Smart Snacks in Schools”rules. (While I originally criticized USDA for not regulating junk food ads directly, as opposed to investing districts with this authority, I changed my views to some degree on that question shortly thereafter.)
The comment period on the rules closes today and you can easily show your support by sending USDA an email via PreventObesity.net or via The Center for Science in the Public Interest. (The rules could go further, of course, by banning all advertising on school campuses. Via Marion Nestle of Food Politics, I learned that the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood is seeking signatures on a letter asking for a complete in-school advertising ban, so you can sign that as well if you agree with that position.)
Thanks in advance for supporting stronger wellness policies in schools!
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