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The American Public Health Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics applaud USDA’s school nutrition rule

Date: Apr 24 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations

The American Public Health Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics support improved nutrition and flexibility to serve local and traditional tribal foods that are possible with updates finalized in the school nutrition standards announced April 24, 2024 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Our joint organizations commend USDA's significant outreach to the public, the review of the scientific evidence and the consideration of the input from professionals implementing the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs in order to develop these fair, practical, innovative, and health-based updates to the nutrition standards and program procedures. These school nutrition standards will support a healthier school day for millions of children across the country. 

“Research has shown that school meals are the single healthiest source of nutrition for children. School meals also play an integral role in fighting food insecurity – for many kids, school breakfast and lunch are the only meals they receive that day. That’s why it’s essential that we maintain evidence-based school nutrition standards that reflect the goals of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. APHA wholeheartedly supports the changes made in USDA’s new school nutrition rule to ensure that kids have access to healthy foods to support their growth and wellbeing.”
- APHA Executive Director, Georges C. Benjamin, MD

“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is committed to improving access to foods that are nutritious and meet cultural preferences to reduce food insecurity.  We commend the child nutrition updates by the U.S. Department of Agriculture that ensure school meals continue to provide children with the nutrition they need to learn and thrive. Federal nutrition programs help to shape food environments across the nation, improve nutrition security, and achieve nutrition policy goals. The changes proposed can empower school district foodservice operations to help participants meet identified nutrition needs with foods that also meet their cultural and personal preferences and food traditions.”
- Lauri Wright, PhD, RDN, LDN, FAND,  2023-2024  President of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

As the leading public health and nutrition organizations, we recognize the importance of today’s new rule in supporting good nutrition and public health. The Academy and APHA members will continue to work on the federal, state and local levels to support the success of these important improvements. The organizations will advocate for the resources, technical assistance, training, and nutrition education that will help assure that these changes can be successful for the school nutrition professionals who operate the programs and for the students, who will benefit from the changes.

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Representing more than 112,000 credentialed nutrition and dietetics practitioners, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the Academy at www.eatright.org.

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The American Public Health Association champions optimal, equitable health and well-being for all. With our broad-based member community and 150-year perspective, we influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.