Obama Signs Child Nutrition Bill

December 13, 2010

President Obama today signed off on The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which will for the first time set nutrition standards for all foods provided in schools.

President Obama today signed off on The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, which will for the first time set nutrition standards for all foods provided in schools.

The bipartisan bill authorizes $4.5 billion in funding over 10 years for federal school meal and child-nutrition programs, as well as increased access to healthy foods for low-income children. In particular, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will have the authority to set nutritional standards for all foods sold in schools, including those sold in vending machines. School districts will also be audited every three years to ensure compliance with the new nutritional standards.

“The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a significant step forward in our effort to help America's children thrive and grow to be healthy adults,” said U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. “Thanks to the dedication of this Congress and First Lady Michelle Obama, more kids will have access to healthy, balanced, nutritious school lunches. By increasing the number of students eligible to enroll in school meal programs and improving the quality of food served, this legislation simultaneously tackles both hunger and the obesity levels currently affecting too many communities across this nation.”


John Gay, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association (NPA; Washington, DC), offered his comments: “The Natural Products Association is pleased that this act will help provide greater access to healthy, natural foods for our nation’s children. NPA has long advocated that all foods served and sold in schools should be held to a reasonable and consistent nutrition standard. NPA members did their part by telling their members of Congress why it was so important to support the legislation. We thank our members for helping get the bill passed.”

NPA says that before the bill passed, nutrition standards were inconsistent across schools. The positive and negative impacts of food ingredients, such as nutrients, fats, sodium, and sugars, as well as portion size, now will be scientifically assessed to determine which foods meet the new criteria, assisting greatly in ensuring the health of children across the country.