Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

IOM Standards for 'Competitive' Food

Academic journal article The Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health

IOM Standards for 'Competitive' Food

Article excerpt

USA

The US Institute of Medicine (IOM) has issued voluntary nutritional standards for so-called 'competitive' food and drink products sold in schools.

The extant enforceable federal nutrition standards, which cover school meals, do not cover competitive foods, which are sold alongside the 'healthy school meals program' in school canteens and in vending machines on school premises.

The IOM guidelines recommend a two-tier system, which breaks down foodstuffs into those which should be available in elementary, middle and high schools during the school day, and those which should only be available to older children outside of normal school hours.

The first category recommendations include: that snacks should have no more than 200 calories per portion; that sugar and fat should each form no more than 35% of total calories; at least one serving of fruit, vegetable, whole grain, non-fat or low fat dairy food should be made available; no more than 200 milligrams of salt per snack portion; a total ban on items containing trans fats; fruit juices should be limited to 4-ounce servings in elementary and middle schools, and 8-ounce servings in high schools; drinking water should be freely available.

The IOM recommend that 'sports drinks' should be available only to students engaged in an hour or more of vigorous athletic activity, at the discretion of coaches, and does not recommend caffeinated products are made available because of'the potential for negative effects, including headaches, moodiness, and other results that could disrupt students' abilities to concentrate and learn". …

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