CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Health

June 28, 2013

Junk food bounced from U.S. schools

WASHINGTON — Junk food and sugary drinks will be pulled from schools next year as part of a nutritional overhaul aimed at improving child health and tackling obesity.

The "Smart Snacks in School" standards released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture takes such options as full-fat chocolate cookies, fruit snacks and candy bars offered at lunch and in vending machines, replacing them with healthier foods such as peanuts, light popcorn and fruit cups. Elementary and middle school children can drink water, milk and juice, while high school students also will be offered beverages with 60 calories or fewer in a 12-ounce serving.

The snack rules, which had been proposed in February, take effect in July 2014, giving schools and suppliers time to adjust to requirements that promote foods high in whole grains, dairy, fruits and vegetables, the USDA said. The guidelines don't apply to foods sold after school or brought from home. Bake sales, fundraisers and sweet treats at parties are still allowed.

"It's important to teach children healthy eating habits that will affect their health throughout their lives," said Margo Wootan, the nutrition policy director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group, who has worked on the issue for more than 15 years. "It doesn't make sense for schools to teach nutrition in the classroom, then counter it by selling sugary drinks and candy bars in vending machines in the hallway."

The snack rules build on the revamped nutritional standards for school lunches and breakfasts enacted about a year ago. The agency reviewed almost 250,000 comments from teachers, students, and health and industry officials stemming from the proposal.

"Parents and schools work hard to give our youngsters the opportunity to grow up healthy and strong, and providing healthy options throughout school cafeterias, vending machines, and snack bars will support their great efforts," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

Text Only
Health
  • Doctors to rate cost effectiveness of expensive cancer drugs

    The world's largest organization of cancer doctors plans to rate the cost effectiveness of expensive oncology drugs, and will urge physicians to use the ratings to discuss the costs with their patients.

    April 16, 2014

  • treadmill-very-fast.jpg Tax deduction for a gym membership?

    April marks another tax season when millions of Americans will deduct expenses related to home ownership, children and education from their annual tax bill. These deductions exist because of their perceived value to society; they encourage behaviors that keep the wheels of the economy turning. So why shouldn't the tax code be revised to reward preventive health?

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Boston doctors can now prescribe you a bike

    The City of Boston this week is rolling out a new program that's whimsically known as "Prescribe-a-Bike." Part medicine, part welfare, the initiative allows doctors at Boston Medical Center to write "prescriptions" for low-income patients to get yearlong memberships to Hubway, the city's bike-share system, for only $5.

    April 12, 2014

  • Fast, cheap test can help save lives of many babies

    As Easley did more research into her daughter's death, she learned that a pilot program had started just months earlier at Holy Cross Hospital in Silver Spring, Md. (Easley had delivered at a different hospital in the Washington area.) The program's goal was to screen every newborn with a simple pulse oximeter test that can help detect heart problems such as Veronica's, allowing doctors to respond.

    April 8, 2014

  • CEMS groundbreaking CEMS holds groundbreaking

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Which foods are the worst for the environment?

    As with most arguments about our food supply, though, it's not that simple. Although beef is always climatically costly, pork or chicken can be a better choice than broccoli, calorie for calorie.

    March 15, 2014

  • ERIC-HOLDER.jpg Holder: Heroin deaths an 'urgent and growing public health crisis'

    Attorney General Eric Holder, calling the rise in deaths from overdoses of heroin and prescription painkillers an "urgent and growing public health crisis," is outlining a series of efforts by the Justice Department to combat the epidemic.

    March 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Study says too much protein could lead to early death

    Even as researchers warned of the health risks of high-protein diets in middle age, they said eating more protein actually could be a smart move for people over 65.

    March 4, 2014

  • Six reasons childhood obesity has fallen so much

    A major new paper appearing in Wednesday's edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that childhood obesity - age 2 to 5 - has fallen from 13.9 percent in 2003-04 to 8.4 percent in 2011-12.

    February 27, 2014

  • Does your insurance plan cover self-inflicted injuries?

    Dealing with a suicide or attempted suicide is stressful enough. Some health plans make the experience worse by refusing to cover medical costs for injuries that are related to suicide or an attempt - even though experts say that in many cases such exclusions aren't permitted under federal law.

    February 26, 2014

Facebook
AP Video