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Policy Implications

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The Current Situation

Individual state nutrition standards make product formulation VERY difficult for food manufacturers: imagine a Quaker Oats Company facility trying to meet the standards for sugar levels of three different state policies in one product.

Local creation of nutrition policy frequently relies on regional mores, cultures and customs instead of factual data and information. What is nutritionally best for a 10-year old in New York is the same as for a 10-year old in Georgia and for a 10-year old in Colorado!

In Your Hometown

  • Right now, any district enrolled in federal meal programs is required to develop a Wellness Policy that promotes proper nutrition and adequate physical activity among students. While the Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 describes what the policy must cover, the details of the policy's content and how it is implemented are left up to local school districts. Check with your district's Wellness Committee chairperson to become a community member of the committee. For a listing of current local wellness policy tools and resources go to www.cdc.gov/ healthyyouth/healthtopics/wellness.htm.

In Your Nation

  • The most recent Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act was just passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 13, 2010. Titled "The Healthy Hunger- Free Kids Act", this bill enacted a number of provisions designed to increase the number of children participating in federal food programs and to improve the nutritional quality of those programs. For highlights of this national policy S.3307 go to http://ag.senate.gov/site/legislation.html.

Want to know more about these issues? Look below for a list of some useful state and national resources: