Today’s Los Angeles Times features an op-ed by Emily Ventura on the need to pay closer attention to the sugar content in school food:
Soft drinks were banned in Los Angeles schools in 2004. But if you think that means kids are protected from too much sugar at school, think again. Children are regularly able to select a school breakfast that contains more added sugar than a can of soda. A popular breakfast offering of Frosted Flakes doused in chocolate milk with a side of coffee cake and a carton of orange juice contains 51 grams of added sugar (or 79 grams of total sugar counting those that occur naturally in the milk and the juice). A 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola contains 39 grams of sugar.
. . .
. . . [N]either federal nor district standards limit the overall sugar content of school meals. Even the newly proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture school food guidelines, which are open for public comment until April 13, don’t include specific limits on sugar. Rather, they state that though added sugars should be limited, they may be included as long as the menus meet caloric guidelines.
The full text of Emily’s op-ed piece is available on the Times’ website.