Julie Brewer, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Chief, Policy and Program Development Branch
Child Nutrition Division
Food and Nutrition Service
P.O. Box 66874
Saint Louis, MO 63166
Dear Ms. Brewer:
I strongly support the policies and programs that ensure children have healthy snack food and beverage choices available in school and I am glad that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has proposed a rule for nutrition standards for all food sold in school and respectfully submit the following
comments for your consideration.
All parents want to raise healthy kids, and providing healthy foods in schools will make it easier for them to do so. Improving the nutritional quality of snacks and beverages also can help to reduce children’s risk for obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic illnesses — a critical goal at a time when nearly one in three kids in the United States is overweight or obese.
Thousands of schools across the country are already selling healthier snacks and drinks. This proves that it can be done in an era of tight budgets.
Parents and teachers know from experience, and science confirms, that kids who eat well aren’t just healthier — they also do better in school. And healthier kids mean lower health care costs, a better-prepared workforce, and a stronger economy for all of us.
I urge the U.S. Department of Agriculture to put children’s health first, implement this proposed rule and support policies and programs that ensure all school children have access to healthy snacks and beverages while they are in school.
Did you hear the news about kids in California?
Your message to friends:
Hey! This childhood obesity thing is scary.
I just got this email about how successful the junk food ban in California schools has been in reducing the amount of calories school children consume overall. We need this everywhere! Check it out.
The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine released a report by Bridging The Gap, which found that nearly half of all elementary school students could buy high-fat, sweet, or salty junk foods at school. And, access to junk food in school has a direct connection to the rate of childhood obesity in 40 states! 
This is bad news since nearly 23 million school age children are overweight or obese, making them more likely to suffer from heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. 
*Let's stand up for children's health and show strong support for USDA efforts to get junk food out of schools and provide healthier school snack food and drink options for kids! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NoMoreJunk1/?source=taf
The USDA has issued a proposal for stronger nutritional guidelines for the snack foods sold in schools. In order to make sure these nutritional guidelines are implemented, the USDA needs to hear that moms, dads, grandparents, and other caregivers are behind these efforts! Already, more than 60,000 people just like you have either signed a petition or participated in the #NoMoreJunk #SchoolFoods Tweetchat calling for healthier school snack options. But we need to show even more support for USDA efforts to get junk foods out of schools. Let’s send 100,000 messages for children’s health.
Why should we support nutritional guidelines from the USDA? Because strong nutritional standards work! Adolescents in states with strict laws regulating the sale of snacks and sugary drinks in public schools gained less weight over a three-year period than those living in states with no such laws. And while there are many complex factors that contribute to the childhood obesity epidemic, the over consumption of the empty calories in junk food is a key culprit. 
*We’re building momentum for new nutritional standards for snack foods sold in schools nationwide. Help us get to 100,000! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NoMoreJunk1/?source=taf
There's more at stake! Getting healthier standards in place isn’t just good for students’ health - they make for a healthier bottom line too! Another report from The Pew Charitable Trust found that raising the bar for what schools were allowed to sell would positively impact children’s health and potentially reduce their risk of chronic disease. In addition, the changes would be unlikely to hurt school district budgets as an analysis of districts that have implemented healthy standards to date indicates that most maintained or even grew their school foodservice revenues. 
Consider this: 40 percent of students buy and eat snack foods at school in a typical day. When schools sell unhealthy snacks and drinks outside of meals, it can cause kids to eat less of their lunch, consume more fat, take in fewer nutrients, and gain weight.
States like California have proven that establishing strong nutritional standards works to reduce the amount of unhealthy food consumed by school children. A few years ago, the California state legislature put in place some of the strongest guidelines in the country on snack food sold in schools.  The study on the results of the junk food ban shows that kids saved 158 calories per day following the ban – an amount that another researcher says could add up to 15 pounds per year. 
The best news is that there’s no evidence that the children in California are eating more junk food outside of school to make up for eating less at school.  Those calories seem to be gone for good.
Help us reach 100,000 strong in telling the USDA that moms and dads support efforts to get junk food out of schools and provide healthier snack options to kids. http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NoMoreJunk1/?source=taf
More states are working to pass laws that create similar guidelines. Last year, Massachusetts passed strong regulations that go into effect this coming school year. More than 30 states in all have some sort of guidelines on snack foods sold in schools.  That still leaves parents and children in almost 20 states on their own. And, according to a recent report by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project, a joint project of The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, voters want comprehensive national guidelines that reduce the amount of junk food sold in schools. 
The Bridging The Gap report is a great example of what can be done, and evidence that healthier snacks and drinks in schools can reduce the overall caloric intake of children. Now it is time for all school children in the country to get healthier options.
*Show your support for healthy snacks and drinks in schools. Sign the petition today! http://action.momsrising.org/sign/NoMoreJunk1/?source=taf
Together, we are a strong force for children and families.
- Dream, Monifa, Kristin, Ruth and the whole MomsRising.org team
PS - Does your child's school have junk food vending machines? Is your child's school junk food-free? Share your story and send us a picture! Just take a few seconds to share your thoughts or success story about junk food at your child's school. Policymakers need to hear from parents about what's really happening in our children's schools. http://www.momsrising.org/member_stories/topic/untitled_601/?akid=3338.174283.loBlRA&rd=1&t=11&source=taf
1 - Bridging the Gap
2 - New York Times and Harvard School of Public Health
3 - USA Today
4 - Pew report
5 - Reuters
6 - NPR
7 - NY Times
8 - Bridging the Gap
9 - Pew Charitable Trust
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