By Young-Rok Shin, MD, MPH
In case you missed it here are some news highlights from last week.
This week, we had two articles about the Federal government’s role in food policy. Jennifer Huget at the Washington Post covered the Harvard School of Public Health’s release of their own version of the USDA’s MyPlate dietary guide in “Dishing up a different healthful-eating plate.” While similar to the USDA’s guide (which is the new replacement for the old Food Pyramid), it replaces the cup of dairy with water and adds a flask of healthy oils. It also tweaks the plate components by emphasizing that the grains and protein should be from healthful sources.
In the New York Times, we had an article by Fernanda Santos titled, “Public Schools Face the Rising Costs of Serving Lunch” about the Federal government’s recent requirement that schools start raising their prices to better reflect the cost of providing school meals. This was done to eliminate the large differences in prices that exists between some school districts. New York City, for example, only charges $1.50 for lunch, compared with Fairfax County, Va, which charges $2.65. Critics of the measure claim that the price increase will drive parents away from the school lunch program altogether by making them too expensive to afford for struggling families that are just above the cutoff for subsidized lunch, and that the new prices will still not realistically cover the actual cost of lunch anyway.