SNA Responds to Alliance’s Voluntary Guidelines for Competitive Foods
October 6, 2006 -- On Friday, October 6, 2006, President Clinton and executives from several major food companies announced a set of voluntary “Guidelines for Competitive Foods Sold in Schools to Students,” as part of the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program. The Guidelines provide voluntary nutrition standards for snack foods (not entrée-type items) sold outside of the federally regulated National School Lunch Program and are designed to help the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s pilot schools meet the criteria of the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program.
The School Nutrition Association (SNA) commends the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and its members the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation, for their work in promoting healthy eating habits among students in schools. The Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program is an important initiative that provides support, resources, and the tools to encourage healthier school environments for students and staff.
SNA remains an ardent supporter of one national school nutrition standard for foods and beverages sold outside of the school meal programs. The Association continues to call on Congress to give the United States Department of Agriculture the authority to develop national nutrition standards for all competitive foods in schools. A national, science-based, mandated school nutrition standard that is enforceable at the local level is needed. For this reason SNA continues to call for the passage in Congress of the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act, S. 2592 and HR 5167. See Related Links to contact members of Congress in support of this legislation.
While supportive of the Alliance’s direction with the voluntary Guidelines for Competitive Foods, SNA is concerned that the lack of enforcement, multiple calorie and grade level distinctions, and other aspects of the guidelines will make nationwide implementation at the local level difficult for school administrators, school foodservice personnel, student groups and others that purchase foods for sale on school campuses.
SNA remains committed to its support of the National School Lunch Program, and the federal nutrition requirements that ensure the Program continues to be the most nutritious source of food for children in the school environment.