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ERIC Number: ED540507
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Sep
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Impact of Federal Commodity Programs on School Meal Nutrition. Policy Highlight
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
The number of overweight and obese children and adolescents has reached epidemic proportions, and recent federal surveys show that most school meals do not meet federal nutrition guidelines. Accordingly, there is growing interest in the nutritional quality of foods available in U.S. schools--and in the role of the government in helping to make school meals healthier for students. Providing healthy foods to students is crucial, particularly for low-income children for whom school meals may be the only, or the most nutritious, calories they consume most days of the week. Low-income children, who are disproportionately affected by childhood obesity, make up two-thirds of school lunch program participants and up to 90 percent of school breakfast program participants. Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently conducted the first ever comprehensive analysis of how the USDA Child Nutrition Commodity Program impacts the nutritional quality of school meals. The report finds that commodity foods ordered by school districts fall far short of the nutritional benchmarks recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. While this report focused primarily on California's commodity food system, its findings include both federal and state policy recommendations that can be applied beyond California. (Contains 7 endnotes.)
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. P.O. Box 2316, Route 1 and College Road East, Princeton, NJ 08543. Tel: 877-843-7953; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Policymakers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Identifiers - Location: United States