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School Nutrition Bill Makes Compromises

U.S. Department of Agriculture, flickr Creative Commons

Nutrition guidelines for school lunches remain a sticking point in Congress.

Some schools say nutrition standards pushed by Michelle Obama are too expensive and that they’re unpopular.

A new Senate measure makes some compromises. Under the bipartisan bill, whole grain requirements would be scaled back and schools gain an extra two years to meet reduced sodium levels in meals.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Kevin Concannon says the goals are meant to fight the national obesity epidemic.

"We hope to have a bill this year," Concannon says. "But I’d rather not have any bill than any bill that would weaken it."

The measure is stalled in the Senate, however, while members try to navigate politically charged waters.

Kristofor Husted is a senior reporter at KBIA in Columbia, Mo. Previously Husted reported for NPR’s Science Desk in Washington and Harvest Public Media. Husted was a 2013 fellow with the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources and a 2015 fellow for the Institute for Journalism and Justice. He’s won regional and national Edward R. Murrow, PRNDI and Sigma Delta Chi awards. Husted also is an instructor at the Missouri School of Journalism. He received a B.S. in cell biology from UC Davis and an M.S. in journalism from Northwestern University.