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Posted on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 : 4:07 p.m.

Will passage of Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act mean healthier school lunches?

By Melissa Gerharter MS, RD

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act was approved by the Senate this past Thursday. The program is designed to expand children’s access to federal nutrition programs and increase the quality of school lunches.

The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act would establish nutrition standards for school lunches and all food sold in schools, including vending machines. It will also increase federal reimbursement rates by $.06 a meal while increasing the number of children eligible for free or reduced cost meals and expanding after school snack programs to provide full meals.

Nothing is free, and $2.2 billion will be taken away from food stamp programs to fund the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. This was passed by the Senate unanimously and moves to the House where it is expected to pass.

In the United States, 1/3 of the children are obese; does this bring us one stop closer to fighting obesity?

According to “If current trends continue, 1 in 3 children born since the year 2000 will develop diabetes at some point in their lives. In order to curb this epidemic, we need to promote healthy lifestyles at school where children spend a large part of their day. The passage of the act has indeed put us that much closer to putting a stop to this dangerous epidemic."

Are we on the right track?

Melissa Gerharter MS, RD is co-owner of Joust Strength and Fitness of Ann Arbor, She is also a personal trainer and an adjunct lecturer at Eastern Michigan University. She can be reached at