Washington Post: Why is the USDA downplaying good news
The best news was that the Healthy Eating Index (HEI-2010), a multicomponent measure of diet quality, shot up dramatically for both school-provided breakfasts and lunches.
For the 2009-2010 school year, the score for breakfast was an abysmal 49.6 out of 100 (even lower than the overall American average of 59), rising to 71.3 by the 2014-2015 school year. In that same time frame, the lunch score went from 57.9 to 81.5. The score for whole grains in school meals went from 25 to 95 percent of the maximum score, and the score for greens and beans rose from 21 to 72 percent.
In addition, there was greater participation in school meal programs at schools with the highest healthy food standards. And the study found food waste, a troubling national problem in the lunchroom, remained relatively unchanged.
The 52-page summary of study findings is chockablock with other good news, so why isn’t Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue crowing about it?…
In December, Perdue announced the USDA was weakening school nutrition standards for whole grain, nonfat milk and sodium, all of which had been tightened during the Obama administration. He cited food waste and nonparticipation as key rationales for the shift