Obesity, Freedom, Democracy
Should Schools Be Required to Serve Nutritious Food?
In the U.S. we force children to go to school. A few families can afford private schools or home schooling, but most children spend thousands of hours in public schools. Should they be subjected to unsafe substances at the same time?
Here is a new item from commercialalert.org
Coming soon: a rare opportunity to prod schools to serve more healthy food to children - nationwide.
Congress is in the middle of reauthorizing the Child Nutrition Act, which governs the food schools feed our children.
U.S. Senator Tom Harkin plans to offer an amendment to require schools to adopt wellness policies, and to only sell foods that are consistent with it. It would also ask the Institute of Medicine to recommend nutritional standards for foods sold to or eaten by children in school.
Harkin's amendment is excellent because it would prohibit schools from selling foods except as authorized by their wellness policies. In effect, this puts up a big new barrier to selling junk food, and encourages schools to serve healthy food.
The soda and junk food companies will surely do everything in their power to defeat the Harkin Amendment. Strong opposition from soda companies and the senators from Coca-Cola -- Sens. Zell Miller and Saxby Chambliss, both from Coke's home state of Georgia -- killed a similar amendment by Sen. Harkin last month in the Senate Agriculture Committee.
It may sound incredible to you that our Congress is so dominated by the junk food industry that it would sacrifice the health of our children to protect the industry's profits. But, sadly, it's true. And it's why we need your help -- so that we can win this time on the Senate floor.
*What you can do to help*
Ask your U.S. Senators to support the Harkin Amendment to establish local school wellness policies. To send an email to your U.S. Senators, click here: http://actionstudio.org/?go=711. The congressional switchboard phone is 202.225.3121.
Senator Harkin's previous amendment on school wellness policies is at: http://www.commercialalert.org/harkinschoolfood.pdf
More information about the sale of soda pop and junk food in schools is at: http://www.commercialalert.org/index.php/category_id/2/subcategory_id/36/article_id/124
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