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“The US Department of Agriculture is seeking to reduce the added sugars and further reduce the sodium formulated into school meals, according to a final rule published April 24 in the Federal Register. The agency is planning to implement a two-phase approach to lowering added sugars levels. Phase 1 will target the added sugar content of specific products and phase 2 will establish weekly limits.

“Schools have many ways to reduce the amounts of added sugars in their menus, such as using fruit as a sweetener in recipes and reducing the frequency of high-sugar items offered during the week,” according to the USDA.

“As we have repeatedly made clear, the Sugar Association supports the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendation to limit added sugars to 10% of total calories, as part of healthy dietary patterns,” said Courtney Gaine, president and chief executive officer of the Sugar Association. “While limiting added sugars to 10% of each week’s school meals menu is consistent with the DGA, applying arbitrary sugar limits to individual products like cereals and flavored dairy is certainly not.””

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