Food Business News - August 30, 2011 - (Page 22)

Washington bill targets childhood obesity R epresentative Marcia L. Fudge of Ohio on Aug. 5 introduced the Fit for Life Act (H.R. 2795), which seeks to combat childhood obesity by improving children’s access to healthful food, advancing preventative measures and encouraging physical activity in the nation’s underserved communities. Ms. Fudge introduced similar legislation by the same name last year, but no action was taken on the bill during the 111th Congress. Representatives Donna M. Christensen of the Virgin Islands, Barbara Lee of California and Donald M. Payne of New Jersey are co-sponsors of the current bill, which, like its predecessor, has won the will not be healthy enough to fight in the military, or will be too overburdened with diseases like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure to start their own businesses.” Ms. Fudge said one in three children is obese or overweight, “and, for the first time in history, this generation is on track to have a shorter lifespan than their parents.” She emphasized that for some children, where they grow up determines how well and how long they live. “Under-served communities, like many areas in Cleveland, are plagued with ‘food deserts’ supermarkets, or enhance existing supermarkets, that sell fresh fruits and produce in lowincome communities. The bill would amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to expand the fresh fruit and vegetable program to include secondary schools, child care centers, and family child care homes. It further would expand access to nutritious food during the summer months by reducing the Summer Food Program’s area eligibility requirement to areas where 40% of residents are at or below 185% of the federal Legislation concentrates on the nutritional needs of children in underserved communities endorsement of the Grocery Manufacturers Association and nutrition advocacy groups. Ms. Fudge told Food Business News, “We talk a lot about the health of the country we will leave our children, but what about the health of the children we will leave our country? We encourage our kids to grow and prosper, but too many of them JAY SJERVEN and neighborhoods with limited access to fresh foods,” she explained. “Children in the inner-city don’t have safe playgrounds to exercise. This bill addresses many of the factors that impact the high rate of obesity specifically in minority communities.” The bill has three titles. The first aims at improving access to nutritious foods in underserved communities. To address the specific problem of “food deserts” in these communities, the Fit for Life bill would create a program to award grants to local partnerships to establish poverty level, instead of the current 50% of residents. And in order to attract additional site sponsors and feed more children, the legislation would expand existing rural transportation pilot grants and provide expansion grants in high-poverty areas. The bill proposed grants to local and tribal governments to create public-private partnerships to conduct assessments on the availability of nutritious food, quality of foods served to children in schools and child care, and the costs of nutritious foods. The bill also would include access to different types of projects that offer nutritious foods on weekends and during school holidays to at-risk school children. Fit for Life also would establish a three-year pilot program in five states concentrating on combating obesity among young children. The selected states would work with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop programs to promote physical activity in child care centers, create healthier eating environments, and limit the amount of time children spend in front of the television or using the Internet. It also would create a pilot grant program placing young health professionals in secondary schools to educate students on all facets of living a healthy lifestyle. The bill’s second title addresses advancing preventative measures and treatment of obesity in adults and children in underserved communities, and the third title contains several proposals aimed at encouraging physical activity of children. The G.M.A. applauded the introduction of the Fit for Life Act. “The food and beverage industry supports this comprehensive, commonsense approach to help young Americans — especially those in underserved communities — build healthy diets and lead active lifestyles,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president and chief executive officer of the G.M.A. “The Fit for Life Act targets the root causes of obesity. It will help children establish healthy behaviors at a young age.” Stephanie Silverman, founding director and senior adviser to the Campaign to End Obesity Action Fund, also endorsed Fit for Life. FBN 22 FOODBUSINESS NEWS ® August 30, 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Food Business News - August 30, 2011

Food Business News - August 30, 2011
Web Contents
Editorial - Food itself plays major role in demand for food
Private equity group acquires Minnesota-based candy company
F.D.A. seeks more comments on phytosterols
MegaMex acquires Fresherized Foods
Nestle updates nutrition labeling system
OpenGate Capital to acquire Dean Foods facility
Walgreens launches Nice! store brand
Hormel Foods earnings up 15% in quarter
With charges, Heinz income down 6% in quarter
Consumers dissatisfi ed with frozen meal portions
Kraft cutting coffee prices 6%
California Pizza hires G.J. Hart as president, c.e.o.
Accountability at the heart of new food safety law
General Mills, Batter Blaster win G.M.A. innovation awards
Rowland acquisition boosts Smucker earnings
Coca-Cola, partners to invest $4 billion in China
July milk production up 0.8%
Washington - ' Fit for Life' bill targets childhood obesity
Soaring egg prices, egg products still rising
Health and Wellness - From digestive health to weight management
Ingredient Innovations - Tropical assistance
New Product Trends - Natural, low-calorie refreshment
New Food Products
INGREDIENT MARKET TRENDS - Statistics Canada forecasts record canola crop
Ingredient Markets
Supplier Innovations and News
Ad Index
Food Business in the News
Feature - Hormel Foods earnings up 15% in quarter
Feature - Natural, low-calorie refreshment
Feature - Soaring egg prices peaking, egg products still rising

Food Business News - August 30, 2011