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NEWS RELEASE August 24, 2009

Montel’s Daughter Stars in TV Ad Urging Congress to Support Healthy School Lunches

14-Year-Old Wyntergrace Williams Backs Vegetarian Options in Commercial Airing on The Secret Life of the American Teenager

WASHINGTON—As students across America head back to class, the daughter of Montel Williams is calling for healthy vegetarian school lunch options in a television commercial airing Monday, Aug. 24, on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, an ABC Family prime-time drama. Fourteen-year-old Wyntergrace Williams is asking Congress to amend the Child Nutrition Act to help schools serve more fruits, vegetables, and vegetarian meals.

"Some of us don’t eat right," Wyntergrace says in the commercial produced by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). "Fast food, junk food—sometimes, even our school lunches have too much fat and cholesterol." More than 80 percent of Americans believe that vegetarian meals should be available in schools to children who want them, according to a recent survey conducted by Opinion Research Corporation.

"Eighty percent of schools still serve too much greasy, fattening food to meet the government's own nutrition guidelines," says PCRM president Neal Barnard, M.D. "Schools should offer healthy vegetarian options every day, and they should have the funding to make that feasible."

Vegetarian options would benefit all children, PCRM says. A veggie burger, for example, provides the same amount of protein as a typical cheeseburger—15 grams. But while a cheeseburger harbors 10 grams of fat, a veggie burger has only 5, and it has no saturated fat, no cholesterol, and fewer calories.

Watch the Wyntergrace Williams TV commercial, titled "School Lunch Revolution," on YouTube:

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research.

Media Contact:
Jeanne S. McVey

Wyntergrace Williams
Wyntergrace Williams

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