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Articles by Nancy Huehnergarth

Nancy Huehnergarth is the co-founder and executive director of the New York State Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Alliance (NYSHEPA), a statewide coalition dedicated to improving policies and practices that promote healthy eating and physical activity. NYSHEPA advocates at the local, state, and federal level for a variety of nutrition and physical activity measures. Ms. Huehnergarth successfully advocated on behalf of NYSHEPA for passage of calorie labeling legislation in Westchester, Ulster, Albany, Schenectady, Nassau, and Suffolk Counties. In February, 2009, Huehnergarth testified before the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on the need for federal nutrition standards for foods sold outside of the federal meal program in all schools. Those standards were passed as part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization in 2010.

Featured Article

Photo by the USDA.

There are 32 million reasons why the United States Department of Agriculture’s new school meal standards [PDF] are good news. That’s the number of children who participate in the National School Breakfast and Lunch programs in the U.S. and who will soon be served far more nutritious — and hopefully delicious — school meals.

Announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, who was instrumental in getting the new rules written by ensuring that the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act passed in 2010, the updated meal standards are a huge improvement, in spite of last minute meddling by Congress. The standards are based on 2009 Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations and they include:

Doubling the amount of fruits and vegetables offered; Increasing the variety of vegetables served to include dark greens, red/orange, and legumes; Increasing offerings of whole grain-rich foods — half the grains must be whole grain-rich by July and all must be whole grain-rich by start of the school year in 2014; Offering only fat-free or low-fat milk varieties (flavored must be fat-free); Limi... Read more

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