Recent studies show that children relying on school lunch programs are more likely to be obese than their counterparts.
U.S. House, Senate both looking at child nutrition issues and combating childhood obesity
By Bob Berwyn
SUMMIT COUNTY — Congressman Jared Polis wants the Department of Agriculture to create a pilot project aimed at delivering healthier lunches in school cafeterias around the country.
“Childhood obesity has tripled over the past thirty years, and children are increasingly afflicted with adult diseases, including Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension, as a direct result of their unhealthy diet and lifestyles,” Polis said in a statement on his introduction of the The Healthy School Meals Act (H.R. 4870).
The measure is aimed at curbing an epidemic of childhood obesity — “one of the greatest threats to America’s health and economy,” according to First Lady Michelle Obama. Polis wants to expand access to healthy alternatives in school cafeterias.
One provision would offer incentives, in the form of supplemental funding, for schools that offer healthier, vegetable-based meal options.
Slow Food USA, a nonprofit group promoting more food consciousness, has a national online campaign advocating for healthier school meals.
The U.S. Senate is also considering a measure to improve school meals. Arkansas Senator Blanche Nelson introduced a Child Nutrition Act that would provide up to $4.5 billion in new child nutrition funding over ten years. Lincoln’s draft measure boosts funding for child nutrition programs by $500 million per year, and includes stronger nutrition standards.
“The easiest way to stop kids from eating fatty foods is by providing them with the healthiest options possible, but many schools simply cannot afford them.” Polis said. This bill will help a growing nationwide effort to improve children’s eating patterns by encouraging and supporting schools to offer more healthy eating options,” he added. (more…)
Filed under: Summit County Colorado | Tagged: childhood nutrition, Healthy School Meals Act, Jared Polis, School lunches, Summit County News | 2 Comments »