A W.K. Kellogg Foundation survey found that most Americans support the three-year-old nutrition standards, while 67 percent said the nutritional quality of food served in school cafeterias is excellent or good.
Nearly nine out of 10 Americans support the school nutrition standards put in place three years ago, and more than half believe school meals are healthier because of them, according to a national survey released last week.
In the W.K. Kellogg Foundation survey, 86 percent of Americans polled support the nutrition standards, used to feed more than 31 million kids in public schools every day. And 86 percent say the requirements should stay the same or be strengthened.
In addition, about 67 percent of Americans polled said the nutritional quality of school cafeteria food is excellent or good, up from 41 percent in a 2010 survey, before the new nutritional standards were adopted. The new meal requirements began in 2012 as part of the Health, Hunger-Free Kids Act, championed by First Lady Michelle Obama.
The survey also asked about government-funded farm-to-school programs, and nearly 90 percent of the people said they supported them. The farm-to-school program has support in Washington state. In October, for example, the Washington State Department of Agriculture hosts “Taste Washington Day,” where schools serve a locally-sourced meal to students and invite farmers to lunch.
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Other findings from the survey: 9 out of 10 Americans said federal recommendations should promote water as a beverage.
“We’re learning that kids’ need for water is often overlooked or taken for granted,” foundation President and CEO La June Montgomery Tabron said in a news release. “It shouldn’t be. Good hydration improves cognitive function, and recommending water as the beverage of choice can help in the fight against childhood obesity.”
The survey was conducted in May among 1,200 randomly selected adults across the United States, the foundation said.