WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2016 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today released the following statement in response to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation regarding the effects of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. The study found that after the new standards were implemented, the nutritional value of foods chosen by students increased by 29 percent. It also found that, despite claims to the contrary, participation in the program did not differ significantly after the new standards were implemented.
"This study is the latest in a long list of evidence which shows that stronger school meal standards are leading to healthier habits in schools. Children are eating more fruits and vegetables and consuming more nutrients, making them better prepared to learn and succeed in the classroom. After decades of a growing obesity epidemic that harmed the health and future of our children and cost our country billions, we are starting to see progress in preventing this disease. Now is not the time to take a step backwards in our efforts to do what is right for our children's health. I urge Congress to reauthorize the child nutrition programs as soon as possible and to maintain the high standards set by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act."
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