Throughout the year, our blog will feature AHA volunteer stories of survival and hope. We know there are thousands of stories like these - thats why we want to say “Thanks” to all of you for giving your time and sharing your lives with us. You can’t spell CURE without U! Thank you for all you do to build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke. YOU’RE THE CURE!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Healthier Eating Proposed for 800,000+ MN School Kids

Public News Service-MN
August 30, 2010

Healthier Eating Proposed for 800,000+ MN School Kids

ST. PAUL, Minn. - September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and new federal standards being proposed this fall could make for healthier eating for more than 800,000 Minnesota school kids. Senator Al Franken confesses to indulging in the occasional bake sale purchase himself, but says he doesn't want sugary snacks to be the norm when studies show one in three American kids is either overweight or obese. That's why he supports reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act and is introducing legislation to help ensure healthier foods will be served before, during and after the school day.

"We have about $1.3 billion in obesity-related costs each year in Minnesota alone. We're talking about better nutrition in school meals, more physical activity, physical education in schools."

Franken says his legislation also includes activities held at schools during the summer months, when many kids lack access to healthy food and gain unwanted pounds. He's calling his proposal the "Healthy Kids All the Time Act." He joined state officials at an Obesity Summit in St. Paul on Friday, hosted by Minnesota's Healthy Kids Coalition.

Rachel Callanan, regional vice president of advocacy with the American Heart Association in Minnesota, says the epidemic of obesity must be attacked at both the state and federal levels in order to prevent junk food from finding its way onto school grounds.

"One of the things that we'd like to make sure is that there's not an exemption for fund-raising to sell junk food. The idea is, we're trying to promote healthier food options in our schools, so we don't want kids to have to make the choice between the apple and the candy bar."

The American Heart Association is one of 25 groups that joined together to create Minnesota's Healthy Kids Coalition.

Click here to view this story on the Public News Service RSS site and access an audio version of this and other stories:

No comments: