NYC Schools cut too many calories, say city officials

Efforts to curb obesity end up serving students too few calories.

Sept. 4—While NYC Schools was waging its war on obesity it was replacing fries with baked potato strips and introducing nonfat chocolate milk, whole-grain pasta and salad bars—all moves that cut calories.

Now, however, city officials acknowledge that children often were served fewer calories than required by the federal government. In the case of the 860,000 school lunches that SchoolFood served daily, it ignored a set of USDA requirements written in 1994, without seeking permission. City health and education officials said their aim was not to lower calories, but to increase the nutritional value of students' foods. But as it slowly began re-engineering those foods, there was a “secondary response,” said Cathy Nonas, a senior adviser in the city’s health department. “It dropped the calories and at sometimes below what the U.S.D.A. had as a minimum,” she said.

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The University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Ind., will soon switch over from magnetic strip-based student ID cards to chip-based ones, The Observer reports.

Along with being more secure, the new cards will allow students easier access to dining halls, enabling them to simply tap their cards on a reader to gain entrance. Students will also be able to add flex points and Domer Dollars—which can be used at eateries on and off campus—to their accounts via a mobile app.

The new cards are expected to be available by the time school begins next fall.

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University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn., has replaced a fajita bar in one of its dining halls with a superfoods bar, Tommie Media reports.

Aiming to provide more options for athletes and students with dietary restrictions, the new bar offers diners a choice of protein with a variety of toppings, such as beans, fruit, couscous and quinoa.

The superfoods bar has made a few appearances on campus since it was first tried for the school’s football players last summer.

“Word of mouth is getting out, and every day I get a few more people,” Ryan Carlson, a cook at the...

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Reading Hospital in West Reading, Pa., is using robots to help deliver patient meals, BCTV reports.

The eight robots, named TUGs, will be used to transport meals from the hospital’s nutrition services department to patient floors at Reading HealthPlex for Advanced Surgical & Patient Care.

Moving at three miles per hour, the robots will follow preprogrammed routes to the HealthPlex, where room ambassadors will remove room service carts from the TUGs and deliver them to patients. The TUGs will then return to nutrition services with dirty dishes for cleaning.

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