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USDA nutrition guidelines target childhood obesity

posted on June 9, 2000


THE FOOD AND DRUG ADMINISTRATION IS PUSHING TO LIST TRANS FATTY ACIDS ON FOOD NUTRITION LABELS. THE FDA CLAIMS UP TO FIVE-THOUSAND LIVES COULD BE SAVED IN THE U.S. EACH YEAR IF CONSUMERS KNEW HOW MUCH TRANS FAT THEY'RE EATING. WITH LESS TRANS FATTY ACID IN THEIR DIETS, THE FDA REASONS, AMERICANS WOULD HAVE FEWER HEART ATTACKS.

THE ARTERY-CLOGGING FAT IS FOUND IN PRODUCTS LIKE COOKIES, CAKE AND CRACKERS. THOSE ARE FOOD ITEMS, INCIDENTALLY, CONSUMED IN MASS QUANTITIES BY AMERICAN CHILDREN, WHOSE NUTRITIONAL HEALTH AND WELL-BEING WAS AT THE CENTER OF CONCERN THIS WEEK.

Unidentified PETA Person: "Shame on you, Dan Glickman, you Meat Pimp!"

WHILE LAST WEEK'S NUTRITION SUMMIT MADE HEADLINES PRIMARILY BECAUSE OF AN ATTEMPT TO PELT AGRICULTURE SECRETARY DAN GLICKMAN WITH A PIE, THE GOVERNMENT APPEARS TO BE WAGING A WAR OF ITS OWN... AGAINST CHILDHOOD OBESITY.

THIS WEEK THE U-S-D-A ANNOUNCED IT'S JOINING FORCES WITH THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PHYSICIANS, THE AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION, AND THE NATIONAL MEDICAL ASSOCIATION IN HOPES OF IMPROVING THE EATING HABITS OF AMERICA'S CHILDREN.

ACCORDING TO THE AMERICAN DIETETIC ASSOCIATION, NEARLY 5-MILLION AMERICAN CHILDREN AGES 6-17 ARE OVERWEIGHT. THE NUMBER HAS MORE THAN DOUBLED IN THE PAST 30 YEARS.

ALICE WATTERS OWNS THE INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN RESTAURANT, CHEZ PANISSE (shay puh-NIECE) IN BERKELEY, CALIFORNIA.

FOR YEARS, THE FAMED AUTHOR AND RESTAURATEUR HAS APPEALED TO THE CLINTON ADMINISTRATION TO IMPROVE THE NUTRITION OF AMERICA'S SCHOOL LUNCHES.

Alice Watters: Nearly 85% of the kids in this country don't eat one meal with their family. And so I believe it's important for the public school system to have a curriculum that teaches children this sort of elementary education."

THE AGRICULTURE DEPARTMENT HAS DEVELOPED A LIST OF RECOMMENDATIONS TO HELP PUBLIC SCHOOLS IMPROVE THEIR STUDENTS EATING HABITS. THEY INCLUDE:

--INTEGRATING BEHAVIOR-FOCUSED NUTRITION EDUCATION INTO PRE-KINDERGARTEN THROUGH 12TH GRADE CURRICULUMS.

--ENSURING THAT SCHOOL MEALS MEET USDA NUTRITION STANDARDS AND PROVIDE SUFFICIENT CHOICES.

--ENSURING THAT FOODS SOLD IN ADDITION TO THE NATIONAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM MEALS COME FROM THE FIVE MAJOR FOOD GROUPS OF THE FOOD GUIDE PYRAMID.

EARLIER THIS MONTH, THE U-S-D-A UNVEILED A NEW FOOD PYRAMID, CALLING FOR INCREASED CONSUMPTION OF FRESH FRUITS, VEGETABLES AND WHOLE GRAINS.

CURRENTLY, THE U-S-D-A CLAIMS ONLY 2-PERCENT OF U.S. CHILDREN MEET ALL THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE PYRAMID WHILE 16-PERCENT DON'T MEET ANY OF ITS GUIDELINES.

HOUSE REPUBLICANS ON FRIDAY WON PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION THAT WOULD GRADUALLY REPEAL THE FEDERAL ESTATE TAX OVER THE NEXT DECADE. HOUSE WAYS AND MEANS COMMITTEE CHAIR BILL ARCHER OF TEXAS VOWED THE ESTATE TAX WILL ... QUOTE ... "NEVER RETURN FROM THE DEAD TO HAUNT FAMILY FARMS AND BUSINESSES."

THE HOUSE BILL WOULD REPEAL THE TAX BY THE YEAR 2010 ... AND REPLACE THE LOST REVENUE WITH SOME OF THE PROJECTED $105-BILLION BUDGET SURPLUS OVER THAT TIME. PRESIDENT CLINTON, CITING THE COST, HAS THREATENED TO VETO THE BILL.


Tags: agriculture children food government meat news nutrition obesity USDA