The Federal Government Keeps Making Nutrition Headlines

by Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP on Mar 19, 2018

Food for Thought

The current administration appears determined to weaken federal nutrition policy:

  • Flexibility on SNAP. The Supple­mental Nutrition Assistance Program, previously known as food stamps, provides a monthly food voucher for many of the most impoverished Americans. Until now, the SNAP program allowed for little state variance in determining how the program was delivered. However, in late 2017 the USDA announced that “customer service” would be one of the department’s three key focus areas. Customer service was defined as allowing states the flexibility to test new ways to administer their programs. In some capacity, this could be a positive development, as it might allow states like Maine that have applied for a waiver to eliminate sugary drinks from the SNAP program to do so (previously, the request for such a waiver was rejected). Other consequences could be negative, though.
  • Lower school-lunch standards. The USDA released an interim rule that would allow schools to serve chocolate 1% milk and grains that are not whole-grain rich—at least through the 2018–2019 school year. Also, schools no longer have to decrease sodium levels in school lunches. The government and advocates of the lax rules claim that children don’t eat the healthier foods, causing more waste, but the lower standards come just as studies show kids’ taste buds are adapting to the healthier changes.
  • Food advisory panel shelved. The Food and Drug Administration’s Food Advisory Committee provided guidance on food safety, food science, nutrition and other food-related issues for 25 years. The current FDA felt those services were no longer needed and announced it would disband the committee on January 1, 2018, saying it would rely on other standing committees and expert input to provide advice on food and nutrition.

Want more from Natalie Digate Muth?

Fitness Journal, Volume 15, Issue 4

Find the Perfect Job

More jobs, more applicants and more visits than any other fitness industry job board.

© 2018 by IDEA Health & Fitness Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction without permission is strictly prohibited.

About the Author

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RDN, FAAP IDEA Author/Presenter

Natalie Digate Muth, MD, MPH, RD is a board-certified pediatrician, registered dietitian, and ACE Health Coach. She is committed to providing evidence-based nutrition and fitness information to health professionals and consumers alike in a way that is logical, practical and directly applicable to readers’ lives. She has authored over 100 publications and book chapters, all which are based on the latest scientific evidence and presented in a manner that is easy-to-understand and apply. She is Director of Healthcare Solutions for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) having written the nutrition chapters for each of ACE’s textbooks, the ACE Fitness Nutrition Manual and Specialty Certification, and recorded several Webinars and online courses. Furthermore, as a spokesperson for ACE, the largest fitness certifying and advocacy organization in the country, she informs broadcast and print media outlets throughout the U.S. on pertinent nutrition and fitness issues. She is author '"Eat Your Vegetables!" and other mistakes parents make: Redefining How to Raise Healthy Eaters'. She presented a similar topic at IDEA World 2009; the video is available for purchase through IDEA. Certifications: ACE, ACSM and NSCA