Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

The final rule published today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture will make the school food environment healthier by allowing the marketing of only healthier foods—foods that meet Smart Snacks nutrition standards.  Those standards apply to foods sold a la carte in the cafeteria, as well as through school stores, vending machines, and many on-campus fundraisers.

Under the final rule, wellness policies will provide for greater parental and community involvement, and ensure stronger implementation of nutrition and physical activity policies in every school. 

Today’s rule caps six important years of achievement by the Obama Administration to improve children’s health—a push that started with the passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010.  Sodas, candy, and other junk foods are out in favor of healthier school meals and snacks—an amazing transformation that promises to reduce the rates of obesity, diabetes, and other diet-related diseases.