U.S.D.A. exceeds HealthierUS School Challenge goal

by Eric Schroeder
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WASHINGTON — U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Janey Thornton said 3,717 schools are now certified in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC), an initiative focused on boosting the health and nutrition of schoolchildren. The HUSSC is one of the parts of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative to end childhood obesity within a generation.

“U.S.D.A. committed to working with schools across the nation to reach the goal of having 2,250 HealthierUS School Challenge-certified schools by the end of June 2012,” Ms. Thornton said. “U.S.D.A. and its partners not only succeeded in meeting that milestone, but have also surpassed the goal set for June 2012, a year ahead of schedule.”

Schools participating in the HUSSC voluntarily adopt U.S.D.A. standards for their efforts in improving food and beverage offerings, teaching children about nutritious food choices and being physically active, providing opportunities for physical activity, and having supportive school wellness policies.

“By prioritizing nutrition and physical activity for their children, leaders in these schools and the communities that support them are playing a crucial role in building a healthier next generation,” Ms. Thornton said. “Through their leadership, we are confident that schools across the nation will be able to implement the new standards for nutrition and ensure that the 32 million lunches and 13 million breakfasts served in schools every day will continue to play a key role in the fight against obesity in this country.”

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