Yilun (Helen) Ma
Essay 2 Final Draft
The USDA guidelines for school cafeteria food has reduce adolescent obesity in the United States
With an increasing number of overweight adolescents in the United States, policymakers started to think about how to address this problem. Since adolescents spend most of their days in school, the poor nutritional environment of school has come into spotlight. As a result, the United States Department of Agriculture has come up with new standards in 2012 setting upper limits on fats and sugar, supervising food’s nutrition content, and controlling food’s serving portion. These three resolutions have successfully lowered the obesity rates among adolescents in the United States.
The 2012 USDA new nutrition standard has addressed the prevalence of obesity by regulating the amount of fat and sugar intake. In the United States, the increasing popularity of overweight among adolescents is a direct result of the consumption of food that contains a high level of fat and sugar, such as sweet pastries, sweetened juice, and flavored milk. To solve this problem, the USDA issued regulations limiting the amount of fat and sugar a food may contain. According to Yon and Johnson (2012), when the new USDA meal standard was implemented in 2012, school cafeteria now only serve fat-free or low fat milk, removing flavored milk. Milk served as an example of the many regulations made by school cafeteria, it can successfully reduce the possible fat intake of students, as a majority of students drink milk on a daily basis. To control the obesity rate from rising, limitations of fat and sugar are not only set on milk but also on main entrees sold in school cafeterias. Under the supervision, main entrees should contain sugar by weight less or equal to 35%, total calories from fat less or equal to 30%, and calories from saturated and trans fat less or equal to 10% (Wojcicki & Heyman, 2006, pg. 1543). As a result, students receiving the modified cafeteria intervention consumed fewer amounts of fat and sugar, and the unchanging prevalence of adolescent overweight got controlled.
The 2012 USDA new nutrition standard has stabilized the prevalence of obesity by supervising food’s nutrition value. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there are a total of nine key nutrients, including calcium, fiber, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium, vitamin A and vitamin C. Consuming food with high level of key nutrients will keep a person healthy, on the contrary, consuming food with low level of key nutrients will cause a person overweight. General nutrition standards of no less than 5% of the listed key nutrients are set up for any individual food item, and food that has failed to meet the minimal nutrition value gets banned (Wojcicki & Heyman, 2006, pg. 1543). For example, chewing gum, soda water, and candy-coated popcorn all get eliminated from student’s daily food consumption since they meet none of...