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The Physicians Committee

Let's Really Move Cheese Out of School Lunches

Let's Move Cheese Out of My School Lunch

The new federal guidelines for schools meals require that less than 10 percent of total calories in schools' lunches come from saturated fat. The type of fat cheese contains is mainly saturated (“bad”) fat, which increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Cheese is the No. 1 source of saturated fat in the American diet.

  • Americans eat more than 33 pounds of cheese per person per year—three times more than they did in 1970.
  • Cheese is a high-calorie product loaded with fat, sodium, and cholesterol.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that one in five teens has an abnormal cholesterol level.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics has endorsed a recommendation that all children have a cholesterol screening performed between the ages of 9 and 11.
  • Typical cheeses are 70 percent fat.
  • Part-skim versions of cheeses are not much better, with just slightly lower amounts of fat.
  • An ounce of cheddar contains 9 grams of fat, including 6 grams of saturated fat.
  • Decreasing saturated fat intake reduces your risk of developing heart disease, according the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
  • European researchers have found that eating a small amount of cheese daily, about the size of a small candy bar, increases the risk of bladder cancer by 50 percent.


Let’s Really Move Cheese Out of School Lunches

Let’s Really Move Hot Dogs Out of School Lunches

Let’s Really Move Milk Out of School Lunches

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Vegetarian Options for School Lunch Programs

Vegetarian Options for School Lunch Programs

Learn about advantages for children’s health, meeting USDA requirements, menu makeovers, introducing new options, advice for parents, vegetarian product vendors, vegetarian commodities, and additional resources. Download Vegetarian Options for School Lunch Programs (PDF).

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Jessica Frost

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