3,717 Schools Get Healthier

Good news for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative: the program has met and surpassed its nationwide goal for number of healthy schools certified by the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC). As of June 2012, a whopping 3,717 schools have been certified.

In a July 16 press release, the USDA describes the requirements for certification in the HealthierUS School Challenge (HUSSC):

“Schools participating in the challenge voluntarily adopt USDA standards for their efforts in improving food and beverage offerings, teaching kids about nutritious food choices and being physically active, providing opportunities for physical activity, and having supportive school wellness policies.”

The Let’s Move! program began in February 2010, as a part of the First Lady’s ongoing objectives of reducing childhood obesity and improving nutrition. In collaboration with the USDA, it challenged school stakeholders to double the number of HUSSC-certified schools within a year, and then to increase that number by 1,000 schools per year for the following two years.

Now, a full year ahead of schedule, the USDA has exceeded the First Lady’s goal. Janey Thornton, the USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, describes the significance of this achievement:

“By prioritizing nutrition and physical activity for their children, leaders in these schools and the communities that support them are playing a crucial role in building a healthier next generation. [...] Through their leadership, we are confident that schools across the nation will be able to implement the new standards for nutrition and ensure that the 32 million lunches and 13 million breakfasts served in schools every day will continue to play a key role in the fight against obesity in this country.”

What do you think of this milestone? Will it make a significant difference in the lives of the next generation, or is further intervention necessary? What’s the next step? Tell us your thoughts in the comments!


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Elaya Raja
Elaya Raja6 years ago

good one..

Dale Overall

Interesting. Healthy foods are necessary as it is difficult to learn when eating unhealthy foods. Nutrition is essential.

Barb Mann
Barb Mann6 years ago

It's about time school lunches change!

Julie H.
Julie Hoffman6 years ago


Linda B.
Linda Querel6 years ago

Finally something was done about that crap and unhealthy food....good first step. Get all sodas out and choc milk, make it 2%. It just shows it can be done. How about local apples and other fresh foods from the community where the schools are, delivered in the morning, now that's fresh. Everything can be made with 85% less sugar and some sugar eliminated completely. They should be taught to evaluate the benefits of the foods in health classes.

devon leonard
Devon Leonard6 years ago

Nice 1st step..! Good healthy eating habits begin early..... The obvious next step here is for Michelle Obama, who started all this to be able to continue for 4 more years!!!!

paul m.
paul m6 years ago


Angela N.
Angela N6 years ago


Jean C.
Jean C.6 years ago

All good moves, but more needs to be done. The USDA is still under the thumb of lobbyists. I remember French fries going on the menu as veggies???? Still, too much vested interest in what the kids eat, but we are making progress.

Winn Adams
Winn Adams6 years ago

A step in the right direction!