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American Heart Association petitions to keep school meal rules

The American Heart Association (AHA) will formally launch a petition Tuesday to keep first lady Michelle Obama’s school lunch regulations in place.

The health group is fighting back against special interest groups that are lobbying Congress to roll back requirements that now force schools to serve 100 percent whole grain-rich products, further reduce sodium content by 2017 and make students take a half-cup of fruit or vegetables with each meal.

The petition, which is already up on www.change.org, will officially go live Tuesday, as the House Education and the Workforce Committee discusses whether the rules in the 2010 Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act serve the best interests of schools and families. Congress is considering whether to reauthorize the legislation that’s set to expire on Sept. 30.

In its petition, AHA said 95 percent of schools are meeting the requirements of the Healthy Hunger-free Kids Act, and students are eating 16 percent more vegetables and 23 percent more fruit, all while getting less salt, fat and sugar.

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