Added sugar limits are coming to California school meals

Starting in January, added sugar in school meals served in the state will be restricted to no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day.
Lunch trays full of food
School meals in California will be limited to including no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day starting in January. | Photo: Shutterstock

School meals in California are about to get a little less sweet. Governor Gavin Newsom has signed SB 348 into law which will incorporate added sugar limits for school meals served throughout the state.

Starting in January, meals served at schools will be limited to including no more than 25 grams of added sugar per day to match the American Academy of Pediatrics added sugar recommendation.

The legislation was introduced by California Senator Nancy Skinner earlier this year.

“California was the first state to provide two free meals a day to all public school students, so it’s fitting that California is now the first state to ensure that school meals are healthy and don’t contribute to lifelong health problems,” Sen. Skinner said in a statement. “Gov. Newsom’s signing of SB 348 codifies President Biden’ standards so that California’s school meals will meet the nutrition guidelines for added sugar and salt recommended by America’s pediatricians, making California, once again, a national leader in the fight against diabetes and other health issues.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is also considering including its own added sugar restrictions for school meals served under the National School Lunch Program. Some school nutrition operators are worried that the proposed restrictions will cause manufacturers to replace the added sugars in their products with artificial dyes, colors, preservatives and sweeteners.



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