Healthy school lunch efforts face daunting hurdles

May 27, 2009
by Lisa Baertlein

The U.S. government spends about $11.7 billion a year on school programs that provide lunch for over 30 million children and breakfast for more than 10 million -- but has not updated nutritional standards and meal requirements since 1995.

States have tried to act without waiting for the federal government. As of last August, 18 states had adopted tougher nutritional standards than the U.S. government -- but most lack enforcement power and cannot punish noncompliance, says the Trust for America's Health, a nonprofit organization that works to raise community health standards.

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