According to the Center for Disease Control 73 percent of adults and 43 percent of children in this country are overweight, obese, or severely obese. And in 2008, 32 states in America reported obesity rates of 25 percent or more.
The FIT Kids Act
With childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions, I believe we need to do more to help our children lead healthy lifestyles. That is why I authored the FIT Kids Act, H.R. 1057.
Ron joins kids at a school lunch table to discuss healthy food choices.
This bill is based on a simple concept: a healthy body makes a healthy mind. Kids do better academically when they are physically active during the school day. The FIT Kids Act will work to ensure kids are active during the school day and are taught to be personally responsible for their health. It combats childhood obesity by increasing awareness about the lack of opportunities for physical activity during the school day by requiring schools to make available to parents and the public the amount and type of physical education offered. The bill also provides important information to schools on best practices for offering quality physical education. In addition, the bill will help equip parents with essential information on healthy living and physical activity, so we can teach our kids how to live a healthy lifestyle at a young age.
With support from Richard Simmons, the American Heart Association, the National Education Association, the National Football League and a bipartisan group of 61 Members of Congress, I am confident that we can get quality physical education back in schools.
To see my FIT Kids speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, click here.
The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
Studies show nutrition directly relates to academic achievement. That's why I supported the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. The 2012-2013 school year is the first year in which the new school lunch standards will be implemented.
The law is the first to make real reforms to the National School Lunch Program and other national funded school meal programs in 15 years. Feeding some 32 million children each day, updates to the program were long overdue. Crafted to comply with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the new standards improve the nutritional quality for all foods in schools by offering both fruits and vegetables every day of the week, low-fat and fat-free milk options and more whole grain foods, as well as placing a greater focus on reducing the amounts of saturated fat, trans fats and sodium in school meals.
The bill also increases meal access for eligible children and for the first time in 30 years, increases the federal reimbursement rate for school districts who comply with the standards, allowing them to more easily provide fresh, healthy options. The program also empowers parents by requiring schools to make meal information, including nutritional quality, more readily available.
The bill is a good step in improving both childhood nutrition in this country and working to combat the alarming rates of childhood obesity our kids are facing.
The Healthy CHOICES Act
Making the healthy choice the easy choice for our families is essential to ensuring our quality of life. That's why I authored, with support from a bipartisan group of my colleagues, the Healthy CHOICES Act, H.R. 5209. Easier access to the tools and education to prevent and treat obesity; affordable, nutritious food to promote a balanced diet; and an increased emphasis on physical activity to maintain our overall health is critical to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
The Healthy CHOICES Act is the first legislation of its kind that brings together industry, the public health community, and government to comprehensively fight the obesity epidemic. I realize that there isn’t just one way to successfully fight obesity in this country. If we are going to really make the healthy choice the easy choices for everyone, we need to address this problem in a comprehensive way.