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AMI Comments on School Lunch Nutrition Standards Emphasize Importance of Meat as Part of Balanced Diet

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

AMI stressed the importance of eating a balanced diet from all food groups and engaging in exercise as components of a healthy lifestyle in comments submitted to the Food Nutrition Service (FNS). The comments were submitted as FNS considers updating school meal patterns and nutrition standards in accordance with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.

“Meat and poultry products are an important component of a healthy human diet because they provide essential amino acids, minerals such as iron, vitamins and other dietary requirements,” said AMI in a letter to Julie Brewer, chief of the policy and program development branch of FNS.

AMI noted that the organization and its member companies are pleased that the Guidelines accurately characterized meat and poultry as containing “high quality protein” and pointed to recent research which has demonstrated the role that meat and poultry can play in ensuring adequate vitamin and mineral intake, as many of these nutrients are either not present in plant foods or have low bioavailability.

AMI also pointed out that children have increased protein needs during growth and development, and meat and poultry as a nutrient dense food is a logical source.

“Data show that the meat and beans category is consumed at the recommended amounts. The heart of the Guidelinesrecommendations is the belief that eating a balanced diet from all food groups along with exercise supports a healthy lifestyle for Americans. AMI supports this premise,” the letter concluded.

To view the letter, go to http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/68353.

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