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Childhood Obesity 2005 Policy Options Nutrition

Childhood Obesity – 2005 Update and Overview of Policy Options

Updated January 5, 2006

Overview of 2008 childhood obesity legislation and policy options
Overview of 2007 childhood obesity legislation and policy options
Overview of 2006 childhood obesity legislation and policy options
Overview of 2003-2004 childhood obesity policy options

 

State Legislation on Childhood Obesity Policy Options 2005 Summary of 2005 School Nutrition Legislation Additional Childhood Obesity Policy Legislation for 2005 Body Mass Index (BMI) Legislation
Diabetes Screening and Management Insurance Coverage for Obesity Prevention and Treatment Nutrition Content Information for School Foods Nutrition Education
Physical Activity or Physical Education in Schools School Wellness Policies Task Forces, Commissions, or Studies Raising Awareness
Taxes on Foods and Beverages with Minimal Nutritional Value Other links for NCSL resources on legislative and policy options to address obesity      

 

Obesity rates continue to rise in the United States. Since 1980, being overweight has doubled for children and tripled for adolescents.  With sixteen percent of children and adolescents age 6 to 19 overweight (9 million children), childhood obesity remains a pressing public health concern. 

Being overweight puts children and teenagers at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, risk factors for heart disease at an earlier age, and other health conditions including asthma, sleep apnea, and psychosocial effects such as decreased self-esteem. In one large study, 61 percent of overweight 5- to10-year-olds already had at least one risk factor for heart disease, and 26% had two or more risk factors for the disease. By adulthood, obesity-associated chronic diseases – heart disease, some cancers, stroke, diabetes – are the first, second, third, and sixth leading U.S. causes of death.

Moreover, obesity is costly to states. Annual obesity-attributable U. S. medical expenses were estimated at $75 billion for 2003. Taxpayers fund about half of this through Medicare and Medicaid.     Fortunately, healthy eating and a physically active lifestyle can help children and adults achieve and maintain a healthy weight and reduce obesity-related chronic diseases.

In 2005, legislatures have been very active in considering policy options to address the obesity epidemic. Aiming to start early to prevent the onset of chronic conditions, legislators are considering a variety of policy approaches to facilitate opportunities for a healthier diet and more exercise beginning in childhood.

This chart provides an overview of the more prevalent legislative approaches considered or enacted in 2005.  Information on a variety of other policy approaches considered in 2005 follows below the 50-state chart. 

 

State Legislation on Childhood Obesity Policy Options 2005

State

Nutrition Standards for Schools

 

Nutrition Education

Body Mass Index (BMI)

Physical Activity, Recess, or Physical Education

Nutrition Information on School Menu or Labeling

Alabama

Considered

 

 

Considered

 

Alaska

Considered

 

Considered

Considered

 

Arizona

Enacted

 

 

Enacted

 

Arkansas

Enacted

 

Considered repeal

Enacted

 

California

Enacted

Enacted

 

Enacted

Considered

Colorado

Enacted

Enacted

 

Enacted

Enacted

Connecticut

Vetoed

Vetoed

Considered

Vetoed

 

Delaware

 

 

 

Enacted

 

Florida

 

 

 

 

 

Georgia

 

 

Considered

Considered

 

Hawaii

Considered

 

 

Considered

 

Idaho

 

 

 

 

 

Illinois

Enacted

Enacted

 

Enacted

Considered

Indiana

Considered

 

 

Considered

 

Iowa

Considered

 

Considered

Considered

 

Kansas

Enacted

Enacted

 

Enacted

 

Kentucky

Enacted

 

 

Enacted

Enacted

Louisiana

Enacted

 

 

Enacted

 

Maine

Enacted

Enacted

Considered

 

Enacted

Maryland

Enacted

 

 

Considered

 

Massachusetts

Considered

Considered

 

Considered

Considered

Michigan

 

 

Considered

Considered

 

Minnesota

 

Considered

 

 

 

Mississippi

Considered

 

 

Considered

 

Missouri

Considered

Considered

Enacted

Enacted

 

Montana

Considered

 

 

Enacted

 

Nebraska

Considered

 

 

Considered

 

Nevada

 

 

 

 

 

New Hampshire

Considered

Considered

 

Enacted

 

New Jersey

Considered in Legislature.

Implemented by Agriculture Department.

 

Considered

 

 

New Mexico

Enacted

Considered

 

Enacted

 

New York

Considered

Considered

Considered

Considered

Considered

North Carolina

Enacted

 

Considered

Considered

 

North Dakota

Considered

 

 

 

 

Ohio

Considered

Considered

 

Considered

 

Oklahoma

Enacted

Considered

 

Enacted

 

Oregon

Considered

 

Considered

Considered

 

Pennsylvania

Considered

Considered

 

Enacted

 

Rhode Island

Enacted

 

 

Enacted

 

South Carolina

Enacted

Enacted

Considered

Enacted

 

South Dakota

 

 

 

 

 

Tennessee

Considered

 

Enacted

Considered

 

Texas

Legislation Enacted.

Standards also implemented by Agriculture Department.

Enacted

Considered

Enacted

 

Utah

Sent to Lt. Governor

 

 

Enacted

 

Vermont

Considered

Considered

 

Enacted

 

Virginia

Considered

Considered

 

Considered

 

Washington

 

 

 

 

 

West Virginia

Enacted

Enacted

Enacted

Enacted

Enacted voluntary

Wisconsin

 

 

 

 

 

Wyoming

 

 

 

 

 

Data Source: National Conference of State Legislatures.

 

Notes: *CA enacted childhood obesity prevention legislation and 7th and 8th grade diabetes screening, including BMI measurement in 2003.

 

Summary of 2005 School Nutrition Legislation

For the 2005 legislative session, state legislatures in at least 39 states have considered or enacted legislation related to the nutritional quality of school foods and beverages.   This includes 20 states in which school nutrition legislation was considered in 2005, 17 states in which such legislation was enacted, 1 state in which a legislative resolution was sent to the lieutenant governor, and 1 state in which such legislation was vetoed.    

The 17 states in which school nutrition legislation was enacted in 2005 include  Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.  The state in which a resolution was sent to the lieutenant governor was Utah.  Texas legislators fine-tuned school nutrition requirements already in place through the state’s Department of Agriculture.  New Jersey implemented school nutrition requirements, at the direction of the acting Governor, through its Department of Agriculture. A school nutrition and physical activity bill passed both chambers of the Connecticut legislature but was vetoed by the governor.  The content of all legislation that passed both chambers of the legislature is summarized below.

The 20 other state legislatures that considered, but did not enact, school nutrition legislation in 2005 include Alabama, Alaska, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and Virginia. 

 

Summaries of School Nutrition Legislation That Passed Both Chambers of Legislature:

 

Arizona

AZ HB 2544 (2005) (enacted)

Establishes nutritional standards in all school districts for foods and beverages sold or served on school grounds during the normal school day, including portion sizes, minimum nutrient values and a listing of contents; and requires school food and beverages to meet the nutrition standards, including food and beverages sold in vending machines.   

 

Arkansas

AR SB 965 (2005) (enacted)

Provides for statewide standards for school lunch programs.

 

California CA SB  965 (2005) (enacted, Chapter 237)

Modifies the list of beverages that may be sold to elementary and middle school pupils and restricts the sale of beverages to high school pupils to specified beverages at specified times of day.

CA SB 12 (2005) (enacted, Chapter 235)

Prohibits the sale of certain specified foods and beverages at all California middle, junior high and high schools commencing July 1, 2007.  As of the same date, requires that elementary schools, during the school day, sell only full meals and individually sold portions of nuts, nut butters, seeds, eggs, cheese packaged for individual sale, fruit, vegetables that have not been deep fried and legumes.

CA SB 281 (2005) (enacted, Chapter 236)

Establishes the Fresh Start Pilot Program to encourage public schools to provide fruits and vegetables that have not been deep fried to pupils in grades 1 through 12 in order to promote consumption of such foods by school-age children.

Colorado

 

CO SB 81 (2005) (enacted)

Recognizes overweight among children and youth as a major public health threat and encourages school district boards of education to adopt policies to improve children’s nutrition by offering healthful foods at school, providing culturally sensitive nutrition education, establishing local school wellness policies in accord with the federal “Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004,” ensuring student access to fresh produce (especially Colorado-grown) and student access to daily physical activity.

 

Connecticut

CT SB1309 (2005) (vetoed)

Would have required a daily minimum period of physical activity for students.  Would have established committees to monitor and implement nutrition and physical activity policies, to limit the types of beverages available to students, to require the Department of Education to develop and make available to school districts a list of healthy snacks that may be consumed by students, to increase the number of children participating in the school breakfast program and to encourage the use of Connecticut grown products in school meals.

 

Illinois

IL SB 162 (2005) (enacted), Public Act No. 94-199.

Among other provisions for school wellness policies, includes nutrition guidelines for food sold on school campuses during the school day.  Provides that the Board of Education shall distribute the model wellness policies to all school districts.

 

Kansas

KS SB 154 (2005) (enacted)

Requires the state board of education (in consultation with other state agencies, private foundations, and other private entities) to develop nutrition guidelines for all foods and beverages available to students in public schools during the school day.  Encourages attention to reducing childhood obesity through physical activity, healthful foods, and wellness education when developing the guidelines.  Directs local school boards to consider the guidelines when establishing school district wellness policies.

 

Kentucky

KY SB 172 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 84.

Requires K-5 school councils or principals to develop and implement a wellness policy that includes vigorous physical activity each day; permits 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week of physical activity to be part of the instructional day; requires annual assessment of physical activity and reporting to the legislature.  Limits access to retail fast foods in school cafeterias to no more than one day per week.  Prohibits serving deep-fried foods in schools, beginning with the 2006-2007 school year. Requires each school to publish a school menu that specifies nutritional information.

 

Louisiana

LA SB 146 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 331.

Limits students' access to certain foods and beverages at school.  Encourages daily physical activity at school to develop lifelong enjoyment of physical activity.

 

Maine

ME LD 796, SP 263 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 435.

Implements recommendations of Maine’s Commission to Study Public Health concerning schools, children and nutrition. Requires the Bureau of Health to establish nutritional standards for healthy foods and beverages that may be sold on school grounds outside of the school meals program.

 

 

Maryland

MD SB 473 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 312.

Requires all vending machines in public schools to have and use a timing device to automatically prohibit or allow access in accordance with nutrition policies established by local county boards of education by August 1, 2006. Requires health education instruction by each county board of education to include the importance of physical activity.

 

New Mexico

NM HB 61 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 115.

Concerns school meal nutrition rules governing foods and beverages sold outside of school meal programs; relates to nutrition standards, portion sizes and times when students may access these items.

 

North Carolina

NC HB 855 (2005) (enacted), Session Law 2005-457.

Directs the Board of Education to establish statewide nutrition standards for school meals, a la carte foods and beverages, the After School Snack Program and child nutrition programs of local school districts.

Oklahoma

OK SB 265 (2005) (enacted), Chapter No. 45.  

Prohibits student access to foods with minimal nutritional value in elementary schools and in middle and junior high schools (except for diet sodas). Requires high schools to offer certain healthy beverage and snack options.  Requires each public school to establish a Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee of at least 6 members, composed of teachers, administrators, parents of students, health care professionals and business community representatives to study and make recommendations to the school principal regarding health education; physical education and physical activity; and nutrition and health services.

 

Rhode Island

RI HB 5563 (2005) (enacted), Public Law Chapter No. 74; and
RI SB 565 (2005) (enacted), Public Law Chapter No. 79.

Both bills require school districts receiving state education aid to include strategies to decrease obesity and to improve health and wellness of students and employees through nutrition, physical activity, health education, and physical education in their strategic plans.  Bills also require school committees to establish school health and wellness subcommittees to decrease obesity and promote health and physical education in the schools.  Both are effective August 1, 2005.

 

South Carolina

SC HB 3499 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 102.

Establishes physical education and nutritional standards in elementary schools. Specifies the amount of time that elementary students must have to eat lunch.  Requires a weekly nutrition component as part of the health curriculum.  Phases in requirements for the amount of physical education instruction that students in kindergarten through grade five must receive each week and teacher-student ratios for physical education.  Implements a coordinated school health program; all contingent on the appropriation of funding. 

 

Texas

TX SB 42 (2005) (enacted)

Relates to health education, physical activity, and food products in public primary and secondary schools.  Requires school health curriculum for grades K-12 to include an emphasis on the importance of proper nutrition and exercise. Prohibits rules that prevent parents or grandparents from providing any food product of the parent's or grandparent's choice for birthday celebrations or school-designated functions.  Provides for adoption of rules for evaluation of nutritional services program compliance with Texas Department of Agriculture guidelines relating to foods of minimal nutritional value.

 

Utah

UT HJR 11 (2005) (passed legislature, sent to lieutenant governor).

Encourages schools to adopt nutrition and physical activity policies.

 

West Virginia

WV HB 2816 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 121.

Encourages healthy beverages in schools and adds requirements for health education. Establishes physical activity requirements in public schools using body mass index as an indicator of progress. Includes requirements for student participation in physical education classes to the level of student ability for at least 30 minutes three days a week for kindergarten through grade five; one full period each school day for one semester for grades six through eight; and one full course credit of physical education required for graduation for grades nine through twelve. Creates a Healthy Lifestyles Office in the Department of Health and Human Resources with a special revenue account. Establishes a voluntary private sector partnership program to encourage healthy lifestyles.

 

 

Special note on regulatory action:  In Texas, a Public School Nutrition Policy became effective August 1, 2004 under the auspices of the state’s Agriculture Commissioner, who was authorized by the governor to administer the state’s National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, and After School Snack Program.  New Jersey followed the same route, implementing comprehensive school nutrition standards through its Department of Agriculture under the governor’s direction in 2005, effective for the 2007-2008 school year.

Additional Childhood Obesity Policy Legislation for 2005

Other states, as detailed below, have considered or enacted additional policy approaches to address childhood obesity such as nutrition education or wellness initiatives in schools, body mass index measurement and reporting the information confidentially to parents, providing opportunities for physical activity during the school day, providing information on the nutrition content of school foods, or taxing snack foods with minimal nutritional value.  

The listing of bills below is a work in progress and may not be comprehensive, but provides an overview of other policy approaches considered during the 2005 legislative session.  Bill numbers are included, allowing for retrieval of the full bills for further information.

The proposed legislation has not become law, unless otherwise noted.  This document is not intended as an endorsement or recommendation of any specific legislation.  If you have questions, find errors or omissions; please contact the author as listed below.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Legislation

In 2005, 15 states considered or enacted student body mass index legislation. Enacting states were Missouri, Tennessee and West Virginia as summarized below. (Missouri and West Virginia's BMI legislation was part of more comprehensive bills.)  Twelve other states that considered BMI legislation in 2005 were Alaska, Connecticut, Georgia, Iowa, Maine, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina and Texas. In Arkansas, the first state to enact BMI legislation in Act 1220 of 2003, legislation was introduced in 2005 to repeal the state’s requirement for confidential reporting of student BMI information to parents, but it did not pass. California enacted legislation in 2003 (AB 766, Cal. Ed. Code §49452.6) that requires non-invasive screening of 7th grade (female) and 8th grade (male) students for type 2 diabetes risk including measurement of body mass index as one of four diabetes risk factors.

 

Missouri

MO HB568T (2005) (enacted)

Establishes the Model School Wellness Program funded by Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization federal grant money, administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to create pilot programs in school districts encouraging students to avoid tobacco use, balance their diets, get regular exercise, and become familiar with chronic conditions resulting from being overweight. Provides for school districts receiving grants to establish programs that address academic success and encourage links between school and home.  Requires an evaluation after the 2005-2006 school year that will include changes in body mass index and measurement of changing behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use.

Tennessee

TN HB445 (2005) (enacted), Public Chapter 194.

Requires reporting student BMI to parents as part of a confidential health report card. Calls for providing parents with basic information about what BMI means and what they can do with this information. Encourages schools where aggregate BMI data suggest high rates of overweight to expand existing, or implement new, school-based nutrition and physical activity programs.

 

West Virginia

WV HB 2816 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 121.

Among other provisions, establishes physical activity requirements in public schools using body mass index as an indicator of progress. Includes body mass index measurement in kindergarten screening procedures.  For students in grades four through eight and students enrolled in high school physical education, includes body mass index measurement in required fitness testing procedures. Protects student confidentiality and directs that all body mass index data shall be reported in aggregate to the governor, the State Board of Education, the Healthy Lifestyles Coalition and the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resource Accountability.

 

 

Diabetes Screening and Management

Legislation to require non-invasive screening, risk analysis or testing of school children for diabetes was enacted in 2003 in California and Illinois.  California enacted legislation to encourage additional diabetes awareness raising in 2005 and Hawaii’s legislature passed and transmitted to the governor legislation permitting medication administration by, and liability protections for, school personnel responding to diabetic students. Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania considered, and Texas enacted, legislation in 2005 to facilitate the prevention, diagnosis or treatment of type 2 diabetes in school children.  Illinois passed legislation for programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes. Legislation for 2005, both proposed and enacted, is summarized below.

 

 

California

CA S.C.R. 4 (2005) (enacted), Resolution Chapter No. 32.

Encourages a variety of government, community, school, and workplace activities in support of obesity and diabetes awareness and prevention.

 

Hawaii

HI HB 1550 (2005) (passed both chambers of legislature)

Authorizes the Department of Education to permit its employees and agents to administer glucagon to diabetic students in an emergency. Establishes that the Department of Education and its personnel are not liable for any injury from the emergency administration of glucagon to students.

 

Illinois

IL HB 615 (2005) (enacted) Public Act No. 94-447

Creates the Reduction of Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Act including continuing programs to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in diabetes.

Massachusetts

MA SB 108 (2005)

Concerns diabetes screening for school-aged children.

Missouri

MO HB 81 (2005)

Would have established a coordinated health program board to prevent student obesity, cardiovascular disease and type II diabetes.

New Jersey

NJ SB 1306 (2004-2005)

Would require training in diabetes care for specified school employees and use of medical management plans in school for students with diabetes.

Pennsylvania

PA HB 256 (2005)

Would have instituted school screening for diabetes by a school nurse, medical technician or teacher by examining risk factors that include obesity.

PA HB 2344 (2005)

Would require that school children be tested for diabetes prior to admission.

 

Texas

TX HB 984 (2005) (enacted), Chapter No. 1022.

Concerns care of elementary and secondary school students with diabetes. Provides for unlicensed diabetes care assistants as school employees when they complete required training and for individualized health plan with the agreement of parent or guardian.

 

Insurance Coverage for Obesity Prevention and Treatment

Legislation to provide or strengthen private insurance coverage for obesity prevention or treatment, especially for the morbidly obese (those with a body mass index of 40 or higher) was considered in 2005 in a number of states, without specific reference to childhood obesity treatment.  States considering legislation in 2005 included California, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Mississippi, Tennessee and Virginia.  Maryland currently requires insurers to cover morbid obesity treatment including surgery, while Georgia, Indiana and Virginia require private insurers to offer general coverage for morbid obesity as an option.  As of July 2004, Medicare began to recognize obesity as a medical problem, opening the door to greater coverage for obesity treatments demonstrated as scientifically effective.

 

 

Nutrition Content Information for School Foods

Providing nutrition content information for foods on school menus or all foods and beverages served in schools to enable students and parents to make healthy choices was considered in 2005 in California, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York and enacted as part of broader obesity initiatives in Colorado, Maine and West Virginia.  Legislation is summarized below. This listing does not include legislation to require nutrition labeling or menu information for food and drink items in all chain restaurants or retail food establishments, also considered in many states.

 

 

California

CA AB 569 (2005)

Would require school districts that contract with commercial food vendors for school foods to provide nutritional content for all foods sold. Would require commercial food vendors to display a standard label with nutritional information on prepackaged and prepared items in accord with the federal Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990.

Colorado

CO SB 81 (2005)(enacted)

Includes requirements for student and parent access to information on nutritional content of school foods through the school website, on school menus sent home with students, or by posting the information in a visible place at each school.

Illinois

IL HB 250 (2005)

Strongly encourages school boards that complete nutritional analysis of menu plans as part of the State review process, provide meals under a nutrient-based menu plan, or utilize software that calculates the nutritional content of foods, to publish the school lunch menu with nutrition content.

Kentucky

KY SB 172 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 84.

Among other school nutrition and physical activity provisions, requires each school to publish a school menu that specifies nutritional information and requires each school to limit access to retail fast foods in the cafeteria to no more than one day each week. Prohibits serving deep-fried foods in schools, beginning with the 2006-2007 school year.

Maine

ME LD 796, SP 263 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 435.

Implements recommendations of Maine’s Commission to Study Public Health concerning schools, children and nutrition. Requires that after August 1, 2008, food service programs must post caloric information for prepackaged a la carte food items at the point of decision.

Massachusetts

MA HB 1019 (2005)

Would compile a listing of the amount of carbohydrates contained in foods served in schools.

New York

NY AB 8094 (2005)

Permits only products containing 100 percent milk to use the term milk on labels and advertisements.

West Virginia

WV HB 2816 (2005) enacted, Act No. 121.

As part of a comprehensive bill creating a Healthy Lifestyles Office in the Department of Education and the Arts, establishes a voluntary menu labeling program.

Nutrition Education

Many states have school health education requirements, but in recent years legislators have considered or enacted bills specifically requiring nutrition education aimed at preventing childhood obesity as a component of school health curriculumCalifornia, Indiana, Louisiana, New Hampshire and Vermont currently have laws requiring some form of nutrition education. States that considered or enacted legislation in 2005 include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia, as summarized below.

 

 

California

CA AB 689 (2005) (enacted)

Notes that existing law requires the state's Department of Education to incorporate nutrition education curriculum content into the health curriculum framework, with a focus on pupils' eating behaviors.  Requires the adoption of content standards for the health curriculum on or before March 1, 2008, contingent upon funding.

Colorado

CO SB 81 (2005) (enacted)

Encourages the inclusion of goals for nutrition education in local wellness policies to be adopted by each school district participating in accord with the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.

 

Connecticut

CT SB 1174 (2005)

Would have required each local and regional board of education to establish a School Wellness Committee to monitor and implement school nutrition and physical activity policies pursuant to the federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004, including recommendations for a nutrition education curriculum. 

Hawaii

HI HB 377 and HI SB 493 (2005, carried over to 2006)

Both bills would require the state's department of education to encourage schools to provide culturally appropriate nutrition education and farm-to-table education programs.

Illinois

IL HB 210 (2005) (enacted), Public Act 094-124)

Directs the Illinois Early Learning Council, which coordinates existing programs and services for children from birth to age five, to expand upon existing early childhood programs and services, including those related to nutrition, nutrition education, and physical activity, in coordination with the Interagency Nutrition Council.

IL SB 1680 (2005)(passed both chambers of legislature)

Requires the Department of Human Services, in cooperation with the Department of Public Health, to develop materials and resources on nutritional health for new TANF, Food Stamp, and early intervention program enrollees. Requires the Department of Public Health to develop a video presentation on nutritional health.

IL HB 1539 (2005)

Would have included, as part of the design of the Comprehensive Health Education Program, learning experiences to aid students in making wise personal decisions in matters of nutrition. Would have required the State Board of Education to develop and make available, through Internet website resources, instructional materials and guidelines concerning nutrition and wellness to all schools.

 

Kansas

KS SB 154 (2005) (enacted)

Requires wellness education with the goal of preventing and reducing childhood obesity.

Maine

ME LD 796, SP 263 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 435

Requires schools to provide nutrition education for students, teachers, staff and through the coordinated school health program, and a parent nutrition education outreach component, as part of a more comprehensive measure.

 

Massachusetts

MA HB 1460 (2005)

Would have resolved that public schools should educate children on the nutritional value of good food choices.

MA SB 85 (2005)

Would have required all public school students from grades one through nine to attend a weekly class of at least 45 minutes on nutrition education and physical fitness guidelines.

Minnesota

MN SB 2267, MN HB 1323 (2005)

Both are omnibus bills that would have provided for kindergarten through grade 12 education and early childhood and family education including nutrition education.

 

Missouri

MO HB 82 (2005)

Would have established the Missouri Commission on the Prevention and Management of Obesity and allowed the state's department of health and senior services to provide technical assistance to schools to create healthy school nutrition environments including classroom nutrition education, supported in the dining room and with positive messages throughout the school to help students develop healthy eating and physical activity habits.

New Mexico

NM HB 721, SB 525 (2005)

Both bills would have created a Nutrition Council and require nutrition and health courses in public schools.

 

New Hampshire

NH SB 277 (2005)

Would have required the state board of education to prepare and distribute a nutrition education curriculum to be integrated into regular instruction for grades one through 12.

New York

NY SB 8696, AB 6900 (2005)

Both bills would have required instruction on nutrition for students.

 

Ohio

OH HB 173 (2005)

Would have established a School Physical Fitness and Wellness Advisory Council and included among its duties the development of guidelines for best practices on nutrition education, physical activity for students and school-business partnerships to promote student wellness.

Oklahoma

OK SB 346 (2005)

Would direct the State Department of Education to disseminate information and strongly encourage school districts to provide physical education and nutrition instruction.

 

Pennsylvania

PA HB 191 (2005)

Would have established a child health and nutrition advisory committee to address wellness policies and practices related to physical education, physical activity, and nutrition and health education in schools.

 

South Carolina

SC HB 3499 (2005) (enacted), Act. No. 102.

Among other provisions of a comprehensive bill that establishes physical education and nutritional standards in elementary schools, requires a weekly nutrition component as part of the health curriculum; all contingent on the appropriation of funding. 

 

Texas

TX SB 42 (2005) (enacted)

Requires school health curriculum for grades K-12 to include an emphasis on the importance of proper nutrition and exercise.

 

Vermont

VT HB 456 (2005)

Would have directed the commissioner of education to award small grants to schools using Vermont products in food services and provide nutrition education to students.

 

Virginia

VA SB 747 (2005)

Would have required school division superintendents to complete instruction about the causes and consequences of overweight and obesity.

 

West Virginia

WV HB 2816 (2005) (enacted), Act. No. 121.

Among other provisions, requires health education to include the importance of healthy eating and physical activity to maintaining healthy weight.

Physical Activity or Physical Education in Schools

Forty-eight states continue to require physical education in schools, but the scope of the requirement varies.  In 2005, at least 39 states considered legislation related to physical activity or physical education in schools and at least 21 of those states enacted legislation or passed resolutions including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia.  States have focused on refining or increasing physical education requirements or encouraging positive physical activity programs for students during and after the school day.  Both the cost of physical education programs and an emphasis on academics have sometimes been considered barriers to increasing physical education in schools.  Recognition is growing that physical activity during the school day may increase student achievement.  Legislation that passed both chambers of the legislature in 2005 is summarized below.

 

Arizona

AZ HB 2111 (2005) (enacted), Chapter 67.

Establishes a mandatory physical education implementation task force charged with developing an implementation plan that will result in a uniform physical education program in kindergarten through grade eight.

 

Arkansas

AR SB 2 (2005) (enacted), Act 660.

Provides for physical education course credit for participation in high school sports.

California

CA AB 689 (2005) (enacted)

Requires the development of health education content standards that incorporate nutrition and physical activity concepts including lifelong enjoyment of physical activities and sequential physical education curriculum, pending funding.

Colorado

CO SB 81 (2005)(enacted)

Recognizes overweight among children and youth as a major public health threat and encourages school district boards of education to adopt policies to improve children’s nutrition by offering healthful foods at school, providing culturally sensitive nutrition education, establishing local school wellness policies in accord with the federal “Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004”, ensuring student access to fresh produce (especially Colorado-grown) and student access to daily physical activity.

 

Connecticut

CT SB 1309 (2005)(vetoed)

As part of a more comprehensive bill, would have required a daily minimum period of physical activity for students.  Would have established committees to monitor and implement nutrition and physical activity policies. 

 

Delaware

DE HCR 37 (2005) (passed)

Resolution establishes a Physical Activity and Education Task Force to study how other states are implementing and funding physical education and physical activity programs in their schools and to report and make recommendations to improve or create high quality physical education and physical activity programs in Delaware schools, including models for public-private partnerships.  A final task force report to the governor and legislature is required by March 1, 2006.

Illinois

IL HB 1540 (2005) (enacted), Public Act 094-189

Requires physical education to provide students with an appropriate amount of daily physical activity and to include a developmentally planned and sequential curriculum that fosters development of movement skills, health-related fitness, offers opportunities for students to learn how to work cooperatively and encourages healthy habits and attitudes for a healthy lifestyle.  Requires physical education as part of the regular school curriculum and not as an extracurricular activity.

Kansas

KS SB 154 (2005)(enacted)

Among other provisions, encourages attention to reducing childhood obesity through physical activity, healthful foods, and wellness education.

 

Kentucky

KY SB 172 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 84.

Requires K-5 school councils or principals to develop and implement a wellness policy that includes vigorous physical activity each day; permits 30 minutes per day or 150 minutes per week of physical activity to be considered part of the instructional day; requires annual assessment of pupil physical activity and reporting to the legislature.

 

Louisiana

LA SB 146 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 331.

Limits students' access to certain foods and beverages at school.  Encourages daily physical activity at school to develop lifelong enjoyment of physical activity.

 

Missouri

MO HCR 25 (2005) (House passed)

Resolution supports school policies to increase physical education requirements for kindergarten through grade 12 to ensure daily physical education for kindergarten through grade 8 and increase high school physical education requirements to a minimum of two credits.  Directs distribution of a copy of the resolution to the Director of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and to every school district in Missouri.

Montana

MT HJR 17 (2005) (enacted)

Resolution encourages local schools to provide greater opportunities for student participation in physical activities and sports programs in order to respond to children and adolescents who are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight, including 18 percent of Montana high school students.

 

New Hampshire

NH HB 151 (2005) (passed House)

Requires school districts to develop a school age nutrition and physical activity advisory committee to develop school district policy on nutrition and physical activity during the school day, addressing food quality choices, availability of fruits and vegetables, and promoting physical activity during the school day and motivation and knowledge to be physically active for life.

New Mexico

NM SJM 2 (2005) (passed)

Requests the departments of health and public education to make collaborative recommendations to increase physical activity and improve the eating habits of youth.

Oklahoma

SB 312 (2005) (enacted)

Beginning with the 2006-2007 school year, requires public elementary schools, as a condition of accreditation, to provide physical education or exercise programs for students in full day kindergarten and grade one through five for a minimum average of 60 minutes weekly.

SB 265 (2005) (enacted)

Requires public school principals to give consideration to recommendations of each school's Healthy and Fit School Advisory Committee regarding physical education and physical activity.  Requires the State Board of Education to adopt rules for monitoring compliance with this section for school accreditation purposes.

Pennsylvania

HR 57 (2005) (enacted)

Resolution observing May 1-7, 2005 as National Physical Education and Sports Week in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

S 565 (2005) (enacted)

Requires school committees to establish school health and wellness subcommittees to promote health and physical education in the schools.

South Carolina

SC HB 3499 (enacted), Act. No. 102.

Establishes physical education and nutritional standards in elementary schools. Phases in weekly requirements for the amount of physical education instruction that students in kindergarten through grade five must receive.  Implements a coordinated school health program; all contingent on the appropriation of funding. 

 

Texas

TX SB 42 (2005) (enacted)

Encourages school districts to promote physical activity for children through classroom curricula for health and physical education.  Allows for the State Board of Education by rule to require students in kindergarten to grade nine to participate in up to 30 minutes of daily physical activity as part of a school district's physical education curriculum, through structured activity or during a school's daily recess. Provides for consultation with educators, parents, and medical professionals to develop physical activity requirements.

 

Utah

HJR 11 (2005) (enacted)

Resolution encourages schools to adopt nutrition and physical activity policies.

Virginia

SB 1130 (2005) (enacted), Act 350.

Requires physical education to be taught in the elementary grades of every public school including activities such as, but not limited to, cardiovascular, muscle building or stretching exercises, as appropriate.

West Virginia

WV HB 2816 (2005) (enacted), Act No. 121.

Among other provisions, establishes physical activity requirements in public schools using body mass index as an indicator of progress. For students in grades four through eight and students enrolled in high school physical education, includes body mass index measurement in required fitness testing procedures.

 

School Wellness Policies

The federal Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108 - 265) requires each local school district participating in the National School Lunch and/or Breakfast Program to establish a local wellness policy by the beginning of the 2006-2007 school year. School districts must involve a broad group of stakeholders in developing wellness policies and set goals for nutrition education, physical activity, campus food provision, and other school-based activities designed to promote student wellness. A plan for measuring policy implementation must be included. Statewide legislation for wellness policies was considered or enacted in 2005 independently or in response to the federal requirement and in California, Colorado, Illinois, Missouri, Ohio, Rhode Island and Tennessee as summarized below. Additional information about federal wellness policy requirements can be found on the U.S. Department of Agriculture web site at:

http://www.fns.usda.gov/tn/Healthy/wellnesspolicy.html

 

California

CA SB 567 (2005)

Requires local school districts that participate in federal school lunch programs to establish and implement a local school wellness policy, including a plan for measuring and ensuring compliance of each school with the wellness policy.

 

Colorado

CO SB 81 (2005) (enacted)

Among other provisions of a comprehensive children’s nutrition bill, encourages local school wellness policies in accord with the federal “Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004.”

 

Illinois

IL HB 733, SB 162 (2005) (enacted) Public Act No. 94-199

Both bills require the State Board of Education to establish a State goal that all school districts have a wellness policy that is consistent with recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Requires the Department of Public Health and the State Board to form an interagency working group to publish model wellness policies. Creates the School Wellness Policy Taskforce to identify barriers to implementing wellness policies and recommend how to reduce those barriers.

Missouri MO HB568T (2005) (enacted)


Establishes the Model School Wellness Program funded by Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization federal grant money, administered by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, to create pilot programs in school districts encouraging students to avoid tobacco use, balance their diets, get regular exercise, and become familiar with chronic conditions resulting from being overweight. Provides for school districts receiving grants to establish programs that address academic success and encourage links between school and home.  Requires an evaluation after the 2005-2006 school year that will include changes in body mass index and measurement of changing behaviors related to nutrition, physical activity and tobacco use.

Ohio

OH HB 173 (2005)

Would establish the School Physical Fitness and Wellness Advisory Council.

Rhode Island

RI HB 5563 (2005) (enacted), Public Law Chapter No. 74; and
RI SB 565 (2005) (enacted), Public Law Chapter No. 79.

Both bills require school districts receiving state education aid to include strategies to decrease obesity and to improve health and wellness of students and employees through nutrition, physical activity, health education, and physical education in their strategic plans.  Bills also require school committees to establish school health and wellness subcommittees to decrease obesity and promote health and physical education in the schools.  Both are effective August 1, 2005.

 

Tennessee

TN HB 2055, TN S.B. 2038 (2005)

Both bills would enact the Child Nutrition and Wellness Act of 2005 to educate the public about child nutrition and wellness and to advocate improvement in child nutrition and wellness.

 

Task Forces, Commissions, or Studies

States with legislative proposals to create childhood obesity task forces, commissions or studies in 2005 included Kansas, New Mexico, North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia as described below. Tennessee, by resolution, created a joint legislative committee on school health and child nutrition.

 

Kansas

KS HB 2208 (2005)

Would have established a task force on the prevention and treatment of obesity.

 

New Mexico

NM SJM 2 (2005)

Requested the Departments of Health and Public Education to study and make recommendations on ways to increase the physical activity and improve the eating habits of youth.

 

North Carolina

NC SB 637 (2005)

Would have appropriated funds to the board of Governors of the University of North Carolina to fund the obesity research and prevention initiative.

 

Tennessee

TN SJR 38 (2005) (enacted)

Resolution creates a special legislative joint committee to study full and expanded implementation of the Coordinated School Health Improvement Act of 1999 and compliance with the reauthorized federal Child Nutrition Act in Tennessee.

Virginia

VA HJR 589 (2004-2005)

Would have established a joint subcommittee to study the relationship between obesity and the school lunch program.

 

West Virginia

WV HCR 28 (2005)

Requested the Joint Committee on Government and Finance to direct the Legislative Oversight Commission on Health and Human Resources Accountability to continue to study the obesity epidemic in West Virginia by continuing to monitor ongoing state activities to curtail obesity.

 

 

Raising Awareness

Efforts to raise public awareness of childhood obesity and its impact and to respond to the problem with wellness, nutrition, and physical activity initiatives include the bills listed below for 2005.

 

California

CA SCR 4, 2005 (enacted)

A legislative resolution encourages leadership for increased physical activity and improved nutrition and wellness in all branches and levels of government, local action by communities, initiatives by schools and workplaces, increased recreation and physical activity that is accessible for all Californians, expanded healthy food options in restaurants, markets, and homes, and increased emphasis on health education and prevention of obesity and diabetes.

Delaware

DE HB 220, (2005) (enacted), Chapter No. 151

Establishes a Delaware State Income Tax deduction to be credited to the Delaware Juvenile Diabetes Fund through the Delaware Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Illinois

IL HB 1541 (2005) (enacted), Public Act No. 94-190.

Creates a school health recognition program to publicly identify schools that have implemented programs to increase physical activity and healthy nutritional choices for their students.  Allows recognized schools to share best practices throughout the state.

IL HB 1581(2005) (enacted), Public Act No. 94-107.

Creates a Diabetes Research Checkoff Fund from an income tax checkoff and requires the Department of Human Services to make grants from the fund for diabetes research, including a certain percentage of grants for juvenile diabetes research.

 

Maryland

MD HJ5 and MD SJ1 (2005)

Recognizes obesity as an increasing health concern and cause of rising medical costs in Maryland and would declare November as Obesity Awareness Month.

Pennsylvania

HR 57 (2005) (passed)

Resolution observing May 1-7, 2005 as National Physical Education and Sports Week in Pennsylvania.

 

Taxes on Foods and Beverages with Minimal Nutritional Value

A few states considered taxing foods and beverages with minimal nutritional value and directing the revenues to school facilities or childhood obesity prevention.  Those included Nebraska and Texas, with bill summaries below.

 

Nebraska

NE  LB 628 (2005)

Would impose a sales tax on snack foods to create a fund for school facilities.

Texas

TX HB 3283 (2005)

Would impose state sales tax on items listed as a "sweet" or "snack" in the release of the National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference by the United States Department of Agriculture and use revenues to fund childhood obesity prevention programs.

Other links for NCSL resources on legislative and policy options to address obesity are:

Summaries of 2005 school vending machine legislation and a link to 2004 legislation
Information on access to healthy foods in communities
An NCSL report on federal child nutrition programs and the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004

Please contact Amy Winterfeld, NCSL, Health Program, to report any comments or corrections to this document.

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