Report Title:

Childhood Obesity Prevention

Description:

Establishes nutrition standards for food and beverages sold to students in public and private elementary, middle, and intermediate schools; establishes school nutrition advisory council.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

1891

TWENTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2004

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 


 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

RELATING TO EDUCATION.

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

SECTION 1. The legislature finds that obesity among school age children in the State is a cause for public concern and is approaching a public health issue. The health and well-being of school children is a predictor of the future health and well-being of adults. Unhealthy children often become unhealthy adults, with the concomitant health care costs to treat hypertension, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. The toll upon the State's economy in terms of lost work hours resulting from such illnesses is considerable.

The legislature further finds that food and beverages sold on school grounds are a significant source of unhealthy fat, calories, salt, sugar, and cholesterol. These unhealthy dietary elements are major contributors to poor health and, accordingly, an unhealthy lifestyle.

The legislature further finds that obesity, especially among children, is reaching epidemic proportions in Hawaii. Recent studies have shown that the percentage of obese children in Hawaii has doubled in the past ten years. Studies have also shown that overweight kids tend to lead sedentary lifestyles, develop low self-esteem and psychological stress, or lack the necessary drive and motivation required to excel in lower, as well as higher education.

The two leading causes of obesity in children are a lack of physical activity and poor eating habits. This is due in large part to our "junk food" and "super-sized" American culture that promotes over-eating and the consumption of inordinate amounts of sugar and fat. Not surprisingly, carbonated drinks are the single largest source of refined sugars in the American diet and seventy per cent of elementary school-aged children exceed the current dietary recommendations for total and saturated fat intake.

The purpose of this Act is to establish nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in elementary, intermediate, and middle schools.

SECTION 2. Chapter 302A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"302A-   Nutrition standards; food and beverages; school nutrition advisory council. (a) This section applies to food and beverages sold on elementary school grounds, and to beverages sold on elementary, middle, or intermediate school grounds. This section applies to public and private schools, without regard to whether the food or beverage is sold over-the-counter or from vending machines.

(b) The sale of all foods to elementary grade students shall be limited to full meals sold at breakfast and lunch; provided that fruit, nonfried vegetables, legumes, beverages, dairy products, or grain products sold as individual food items may be sold during times of a break in the school schedule if they meet the following standards:

(1) Not more than thirty per cent of the total calories shall be from fat, with the exception of nuts or seeds;

(2) Not more than ten per cent of the total calories shall be from saturated fat; and

(3) Not more than twenty-five per cent of the total weight shall be composed of sugar, with the exception of fruits or vegetables.

(c) The sale of beverages to elementary grade students on school grounds shall be limited to drinking water, milk or approved non-dairy beverages, beverages that contain one hundred per cent fruit juices, or fruit-based drinks composed of not less than fifty per cent fruit juice that have no added sweeteners.

(d) The sale of beverages to intermediate or middle grade students on school grounds shall be limited to drinking water, milk (including chocolate milk, calcium fortified soy milk, calcium fortified rice milk, or other similar dairy or nondairy milk); and beverages that contain one hundred per cent fruit juices, or fruit-based drinks composed of not less than fifty per cent fruit juice that have no added sweeteners.

(e) For purposes of this section, "added sweetener" means any additive that enhances the sweetness of a beverage including, but not limited to, added sugar, but does not include the natural sugar that is contained within the fruit juice which is a component of the beverage.

(f) There is established the school nutrition advisory council within the department. The purpose of the council shall be to monitor compliance with this section and to advise the department on matters pertaining to nutrition of students in the public schools.

The department shall select the members of the school nutrition advisory council who shall represent a broad spectrum of health and public health professionals, nutritionists, educators, food preparation experts, and kinesiologists."

SECTION 3. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

INTRODUCED BY:

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