Local Support for Nutrition Integrity in Schools

Volume 110, Issue 8, Pages 122-133 (August 2010)

Abstract

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association (ADA) that schools and communities have a shared responsibility to provide students with access to high-quality, affordable, nutritious foods and beverages. School-based nutrition services, including the provision of meals through the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program, are an integral part of the total education program. Strong wellness policies promote environments that enhance nutrition integrity and help students to develop lifelong healthy behaviors. ADA actively supported the 2004 and proposed 2010 Child Nutrition reauthorization which determines school nutrition policy. ADA believes that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans should serve as the foundation for all food and nutrition assistance programs and should apply to all foods and beverages sold or served to students during the school day. Local wellness policies are mandated by federal legislation for all school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. These policies support nutrition integrity, including a healthy school environment. Nutrition integrity also requires coordinating nutrition education and promotion and funding research on program outcomes. Registered dietitians and dietetic technicians, registered, and other credentialed staff, are essential for nutrition integrity in schools to perform in policy-making, management, education and community-building roles. A healthy school environment can be achieved through adequate funding of school meal programs and through implementation and evaluation of strong local wellness policies.