To be voted on this spring by the Oregon state legislature is Senate bill 560, the "Healthy Foods for Oregon Schools Act", an important bill that will have an impact on the health of Oregon schoolchildren. The Healthy Foods Act will require that food available in schools meets health standards. It also requires that at each meal clean water and cups will be provided to students free of charge.
Obesity and diabetes have been dramatically increasing among young people. This bill, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association and American Cancer Society, among other health groups, hopes to prevent childhood illness and disease.
State legislators may be hesistant to pass the bill due to the fact that some schools receive funding from deals made with companies such as Coca-Cola. The bill would not make these deals impossible, but it would require substitutes such as bottled water.
Residents who support the Healthy Foods for Oregon Schools act should lobby their legislators soon. To find your state legislator, go to http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/.
Here is what the Oregon Rural Health Association has to say about senate bill 560:
"Senate Bill 560 - Healthy Foods for Oregon Schools Act - will improve the health of rural students by setting nutrition standards for foods sold outside the national school meal program (vending machines, a la carte items, school stores). This bill will eliminate the sale of soda, candy, and fried pastry, limit serving sizes, fat and sugar content, and encourage the availability of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Make the healthy choice the easy choice in Oregon schools by contacting your legislators with your support."