Strong nutrition standards for school meals, consistent with evidence-based recommendations, position children for optimal health and wellbeing. Strong science supports the link between lowering sodium intake and better health. This new issue brief from Healthy Eating Research examines the recent history of sodium standards for school meals. It highlights current sodium intake among America’s children and School Nutrition Meal Cost Study (SNMCS) findings about sodium content of school meals. The SNMCS examined sodium levels in school meals based on data from nationally representative samples of public school food authorities, schools, and students in school year 2014-2015. Findings indicate that there has been major progress in reducing the sodium content of school meals, but more progress is needed and attempts to weaken sodium standards compromise the health of children across the country.
Schools Find Success in Reducing Sodium in Meals
Drinking water access in California schools: Room for improvement following implementation of school water policies
This study aimed to investigate how access to free drinking water in California public schools changed after implementation of 2010 federal and state school water policies. Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted with administrators in a random sample of California public schools, stratified by school type and urban-centric geography, from 2010 … More
In the next year, an estimated 1 in 4 children will experience food insecurity (up from 1 in 6, pre-pandemic), disproportionately impacting children in low-income households and racial/ethnic minorities. To mediate loss of school meals during closures and reduce COVID-19 exposure, Congress authorized the USDA to permit local education authorities … More
Addressing Equity in Rural Schools: Opportunities and Challenges for School Meal Standards Implementation
Few studies examine why rural public schools have weaker policies and practices related to school nutrition environments compared to their urban counterparts. It is important to understand this disparity because federal school meal standards aim for children to access health‐promoting nutrition environments. In this study, we identify challenges and opportunities … More