SJ374: Childhood obesity; school divisions encouraged to strengthen their commitment to prevention.

SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 374
Offered January 10, 2007
Prefiled January 9, 2007
Encouraging the school divisions of the Commonwealth to strengthen their commitment to childhood obesity prevention by increasing opportunities for participation in healthy activities and emphasizing good nutrition in public schools.
Patron-- Whipple

Referred to Committee on Rules

WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine, one of the nation's leading scientific advisory groups, estimates that currently 17.1 percent of children and youth are overweight and that by the end of the decade one in five American children will be obese; and

WHEREAS, the Senate Committee on Education and Health's Special Subcommittee on Senate Bill 206 (2006) was established to study ways to prevent childhood obesity; and

WHEREAS, the Special Subcommittee on Senate Bill 206 held two meetings during the 2006 interim in order to hear from school nutrition experts from the Virginia Department of Education, school nutrition directors from various localities, and representatives from the Virginia Department of Health about the current programs attempting to address childhood obesity; and

WHEREAS, the subcommittee learned of the Governor's Healthy Virginians Nutrition and Physical Activity Scorecard Program, which recognizes and rewards schools for encouraging healthy habits, and agreed that all school divisions should participate; and

WHEREAS, every school division in the Commonwealth participates in the National School-Lunch Program and was required to submit a local wellness plan on July 1, 2006, that included: goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities to promote student wellness; nutrition standards for all foods and beverages available during the school day; assurance that local guidelines will not be less restrictive than USDA regulations and guidance; and a plan for measuring implementation of the local policy; and

WHEREAS, the subcommittee believes that it is vitally important for the local school divisions to achieve the goals emphasized in the local wellness plans; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the school divisions of the Commonwealth be encouraged to strengthen their commitment to childhood obesity prevention by increasing the opportunities for participation in healthy activity and emphasizing good nutrition during the school day; and, be it

RESOLVED FURTHER, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit a copy of this resolution to the State Superintendent of Public Instruction of Virginia, requesting that the Superintendent further disseminate copies of this resolution to his respective constituents so that they may be apprised of the sense of the General Assembly of Virginia in this matter.

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