Some weeks are bigger than others, and this week is one of those big weeks. Two of our publications got a lot of attention—School Meals and Hidden Costs of Energy—so we thought we’d feature both of them.
There are plenty more, though: two publications on childhood obesity, as well as publications covering tobacco use in the military, the Department of Defense’s Fast Track of SBIR, NASA, and state voter registration.
School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children (prepublication)
Ensuring that the foods provided to children in schools are consistent with current dietary recommendations is an important national focus. Various laws and regulations govern the operation of school meal programs. In 1995, Nutrition Standards and Meal Requirements were put in place to ensure that all meals offered would be high in nutritional quality.
School Meals: Building Blocks For Healthy Children reviews and provides recommendations to update the nutrition standard and the meal requirements for the National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program. The recommendations reflect new developments in nutrition science, increase the availability of key food groups in the school meal programs, and allow these programs to better meet the nutritional needs of children, foster healthy eating habits, and safeguard children’s health.
School Meals sets standards for menu planning that focus on food groups, calories, saturated fat, and sodium and that incorporate Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Dietary Reference Intakes. This book will be used as a guide for school food authorities, food producers, policy leaders, state/local government and parents.
Despite the many benefits of energy, most of which are reflected in energy market prices, the production, distribution, and use of energy causes negative effects. Many of these negative effects are not reflected in energy market prices. When market failures like this occur, there may be a case for government interventions in the form of regulations, taxes, fees, tradable permits or other instruments that will motivate recognition of these external or hidden costs.
Hidden Costs of Energy defines and evaluates key external costs and benefits that are associated with the production, distribution, and use of energy, but not reflected in market prices. In aggregate, the damage estimates presented here are substantial, and reflect damages from air pollution associated with electricity generation, motor vehicle transportation, and heat generation. The book also considers other effects not quantified in dollar amounts, such as damages from climate change, effects of some air pollutants such as mercury, and risks to national security.
While not a comprehensive guide to policy, this analysis indicates that major initiatives to further reduce other emissions, improve energy efficiency, or shift to a cleaner electricity-generating mix could substantially reduce the damages of external effects. A first step in minimizing the adverse consequences of new energy technologies is to better understand these external effects and damages. Hidden Costs of Energy will therefore be a vital informational tool for government policy makers, scientists, and economists in even the earliest stages of research and development on energy technologies.
All Publications This Week
Protecting and Accessing Data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates: A Workshop Summary (prepublication)
Improving State Voter Registration Databases Final Report (prepublication)
Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas: Workshop Summary (prepublication)
Community Perspectives on Obesity Prevention in Children: Workshop Summary (prepublication)
Revisiting the Department of Defense SBIR Fast Track Initiative (final)
Combating Tobacco Use in Military and Veteran Populations (final)
Fostering Visions for the Future: A Review of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (final)