Studies have shown that the number of overweight children ages 6-17 has doubled over the last 30 years. More than 25 percent of children ages 6-11 are obese. The problem is common enough that experts are now considering obesity an epidemic.
The Arizona Nutrition Standards were created to combat the problem. A K-8 school follows the Elementary School Standards for students in grades K-5 and the Middle/Junior High School Standards for students in grades 6-8. However, the Standards are not applicable to classroom parties.
The Standards prohibit the following foods and beverages on campus:
• Foods whose final preparation method is deep fat-fried.
• Fruit and vegetable drinks containing less than 100 percent juice for elementary schools and less than 50 percent juice for middle and junior high schools.
• Flavored or regular whole-fat milk (4 percent milk fat).
• Caffeine and energy drinks.
• Sports drinks, electrolyte replacement drinks for elementary schools only.
• Carbonated beverages.
The Standards also require that:
• No more than 35 percent of total calories are from fat.
• No more than 10 percent of total calories are from saturated and trans fatty acids (combined).
• No more than 35 percent total sugar by weight.
• Food must contain at least 1 gram of fiber.
• Entrée items sold as a la carte cannot exceed 400 calories per serving.
• All other food items cannot exceed 300 calories per serving.
• The amount of sodium sold in entrée items sold as a la carte cannot exceed 800 mg per serving.
• The amount of sodium sold in all other snack items cannot exceed 600 mg per serving.
For more information, visit www.ade.az.gov or call The Department of Education – Health and Nutrition Services at 602-542-8700.