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Tuesday Morning - June 28, 2011

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June 28, 2011

Table of Contents

USDA Campaign to Encourage Americans to Eat Better

Mission Readiness Briefing

USDA and DC Officials Kick-Off Summer Food Service Program for Children

IOM Report: Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies

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USDA Campaign to Encourage Americans to Eat Better

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is planning a campaign series to get Americans to eat healthier. This seven part campaign will begin in September and run until December 2013. The campaigns will be run by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, a division of USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services mission area, whose task is to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutritional needs of consumers. The campaign schedule is:

  • September-December 2011: Make half the plate fruits and vegetables
  • January-April 2012: Enjoy food, but eat less
  • May-August 2012: Drink water instead of sugary drinks
  • September-December 2012: Make at least half the grains whole grains
  • January-April 2013: Avoid oversized portions
  • May-August 2013: Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose the foods with lower numbers
  • September-December 2013: Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk

 

The campaign series also promotes the recently released MyPlate food icon and the Let’s Move! initiative of First Lady Michelle Obama.

Mission Readiness Briefing

On Wednesday, June 29 from 11AM – 12 PM EDT, Senator Lugar (IN - R) and Mission Readiness will hold a briefing in the Senate Visitors Center 209 on “Leveraging the School Environment to Improve Nutrition, Reduce Obesity and Maintain National Security”.

Obesity is the leading medical disqualifier for military service with about 1 in 4 young Americans too heavy to enlist. Improving nutrition in schools is a critical step to combating obesity among young adults and helping to maintain our national security. Retired military generals and admirals will address the need to improve nutrition standards, the need for kitchen equipment upgrades and training school nutrition workers, and the importance of physical education to reduce obesity and ensure our future military readiness.

USDA and DC Officials Kick-Off Summer Food Service Program for Children

U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Administrator Audrey Rowe joined D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and Office of the State Superintendent of Education representatives at the 8th Annual "Free Summer Meals Kick Off", to celebrate the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) in D.C. This summer, more than 300 feeding sites throughout the city will provide free meals to children up to age 18.

"Each summer, millions of families struggle to provide their children with nutritious meals when schools close”, said Rowe. “The Summer Food Service Program fills this gap by marshalling resources to curb food insecurity and end hunger for our nation's children. We are proud of the District of Columbia and all the partnerships that make summer meals available to D.C. children. The commitment is not only admirable, but serves to encourage other states striving to provide nourishment to children in need."

While more than 21 million children nationwide receive free and reduced-priced meals through the National School Lunch Program during the school year, only 3 million kids are fed through the summer meals programs. In July 2010, approximately 80 percent of eligible children were served by the D.C. Free Summer Meals Program, according to the Food Research and Action Center's (FRAC) analysis Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation. Nationally, only 15 percent of children participate in SFSP.

For more, visit: www.fns.usda.gov or dcfreesummermeals.org.

IOM Report: Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report entitled “Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies” last week. With the release of the report, IOM stated, “even the youngest children in the United States are at risk of becoming obese. Today, almost 10 percent of infants and toddlers carry excess weight for their length, and slightly more than 20 percent of children between the ages of two and five are already overweight or obese. Because early obesity can track into adulthood, efforts to prevent obesity should begin long before a child enters school.”

IOM hopes to reduce this alarming trend through recommendations, made by its Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Pre¬vention, to increase physical activity, improve food choices made by parents and caregivers, and promote age appropriate sleeping habits. The Committee also recommends tracking children’s height and weight measurements at doctor check ups to ensure optimal growth and wellbeing.

To read the report, please visit:
http://www.iom.edu/Reports/2011/Early-Childhood-Obesity-Prevention-Policies.aspx


 
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