Report Title:

School Nutrition

 

Description:

Establishes nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in public schools. Requires DOE to develop nutrition education training requirements for food service managers in the public schools. Requires DOE to encourage schools to provide culturally-appropriate and standards-based nutrition education and farm-to-table nutrition education.

 


HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2993

TWENTY-FOURTH LEGISLATURE, 2008

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT


 

 

RELATING TO SCHOOL NUTRITION.

 

 

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

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that obesity is considered to be the major health issue of the twenty-first century. Obesity rates have soared throughout the United States, with an estimated two-thirds of the adult population self-reporting being overweight (approximately 65 per cent) and almost one-third (approximately 31 per cent) being obese. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in 2001, more than 44 million Americans were considered obese based on the body mass index, an increase of 74 per cent in ten years. Moreover, the legislature notes that these same trends are occurring worldwide. The World Health Organization and International Obesity Task Force have confirmed a worldwide epidemic, even as some developing countries struggle with undernourishment or famine.

The number of overweight children in the United States has doubled in the past 30 years, with similar patterns occurring in Hawaii. The legislature finds that, while not enough research has been done on childhood obesity in Hawaii, data from the youth risk behavior survey reports that approximately one-third of Hawaii's students consider themselves to be overweight, with another 16 per cent at risk for becoming overweight. Research demonstrates that overweight children tend to lead sedentary lifestyles, develop low self-esteem and psychological stress, and often lack the necessary drive and motivation required for excelling in the classroom.

The health and well-being of children is a predictor of their health and well-being as adults. Similarly, obesity in childhood, particularly adolescence, is a predictor for obesity in adulthood. 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 these illnesses is considerable.

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

The legislature notes that carbonated drinks are the single largest source of refined sugars in the American diet and that 70 per cent of elementary school-aged children exceed the current dietary recommendations for total calories and saturated fat intake. Furthermore, the legislature finds that the frequent drinking of sweet liquids throughout the day increases a child's risk for dental decay, the most common chronic childhood disease.

The legislature further finds that schools are a logical place to promote the prevention of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to:

(1) Establish nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in public elementary, intermediate, and middle schools;

(2) Require the department of education to develop nutrition education training requirements for food service managers in public schools; and

(3) Require the department of education to encourage schools to provide culturally-appropriate and standards-based nutrition education and farm-to-table nutrition education.

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

"302A-A Nutrition standards; department of education policy. (a) This section applies to all cafeteria meals and beverages sold on elementary, intermediate, and middle school grounds.

(b) The sale of all cafeteria meals to elementary, intermediate, and middle 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, intermediate, and middle school students on school grounds shall be limited to drinking water, milk (including chocolate milk) or approved nondairy 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 department and appropriate county agencies that operate after-school and weekend programs, as established in section 302A-408, shall also adhere to nutrition policies established in this section.

(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 that is a component of the beverage.

302A-B Nutrition training requirements; food service managers. (a) The department shall develop nutrition education training requirements for food service managers in public schools. The nutrition education training requirements shall address all public school food services, including school snacks and full meal service.

(b) By January 1, 2009, all existing food service managers shall have completed the nutrition education training requirements pursuant to subsection (a). Any new food service manager shall complete the nutrition education training requirements within six months of the manager's date of hiring.

(c) The department of education may adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 to implement the purposes of this section.

302A-C Nutrition education; department of education. The department shall encourage elementary, intermediate, and middle schools to provide students with culturally-appropriate and standards-based nutrition education and, whenever possible, to integrate that material into the existing curriculum. The department shall encourage elementary, intermediate, and middle schools to provide farm-to-table nutrition education in schools where resources permit access to school, community, county, or other gardens.

302A-D Fundraisers. Nothing in sections 302A-A, 302A-B, or 302A-C shall be construed to prohibit or limit the sale or distribution of any food or beverage item through fundraisers by students, teachers, or groups when the items are intended for sale off the school campus."

SECTION 3. In codifying the new sections added by section 2 of this Act, the revisor of statutes shall substitute appropriate section numbers for the letters used in designating the new sections in this Act.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

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