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Tuesday Morning - April 14, 2009

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April 14, 2009 

In This Issue

School Food Equipment Grant Update and Webinar

Study Finds 1 in 5 Obese Among 4-year-olds

Update on Bills Introduced in Congress Addressing Child Nutrition

Report Explores Rise in Food Prices for Child Nutrition Programs

Action Alert on National Nutrition Standards Legislation

CDC Reports Food Safety No Longer Improving

 In Every Issue

Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

PPL Committee

School Food Equipment Grant Update and Webinar

Last week the USDA Food and Nutrition Service released a fourth policy memo on the stimulus school food equipment grant program. The new memo is the second question and answer document that seeks to clarify more issues for state agencies and school nutrition professionals. SNA has posted a link to the new memo on the School Food Equipment web page along with additional state grant applications and updated information. The web page also now includes a poll on which school food equipment districts are considering. On April 15, 2009, the School Nutrition Foundation and Duke Manufacturing will present a Webinar Wednesday on school food equipment that will include remarks by Lynn Rodgers of the USDA FNS on the stimulus grants. See links below for more information.

SNA School Food Equipment Grant Website (includes new USDA memo)

School Food Equipment Webinar 

Study Finds 1 in 5 Obese Among 4-year-olds

 A total of 18.4 percent of 4 year-olds in the United States are considered obese, according to a new study from the Ohio State University.  Researchers evaluated height and weight data collected in 2005 on 8,550 children who were born in the United States in 2001. The data were collected as part of the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Birth Cohort, which is an ongoing study to provide information about learning environments, health and development of young U.S. children.  Based on body mass index (BMI) measures, obesity prevalence was estimated at 31.2 percent among American Indian/Native Alaskan children, 22 percent for Hispanics, 20.8 percent in blacks, 15.9 percent of whites and 12.8 percent in Asians. This new nationally representative study just highlights an issue that school nutrition professionals know all too well – more and more children are coming to kindergarten already dealing with weight issues. 

Study Finds One in Five 4-year--olds is Obese 

Update on Bills Introduced in Congress Addressing Child Nutrition

The 111th Congress kicked off in early January and is expected to address child nutrition reauthorization before the end of the federal fiscal year on September 30, 2009. So far, ten bills have been introduced that affect school nutrition issues, eight in the House and two in the Senate. Many more are expected in the next several months on topics ranging from posting nutrition information on school meals to universal school breakfast and increased funding for school meals. See below for a review of the bills.

Update on Bills Introduced in Congress 

Report Explores Rise in Food Prices for Child Nutrition Programs

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a new report “The Impact of Ethanol Use on Food Prices and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions” that found the increased use of ethanol in gasoline resulted in higher food costs and consequently increased costs to the federal child nutrition programs. 

According to the report released this week, the use of ethanol in gasoline has increased significantly over the past ten years. The CBO reports that currently, most ethanol in the United States is produced from domestically grown corn, and the rapid rise in the fuel’s production and usage means that roughly one-quarter of all corn grown in the United States is now used to produce ethanol. Since 2006, food prices have also risen more quickly than in earlier years, affecting federal spending for nutrition programs (such as the National School Lunch Program) and the household budgets of individual consumers. In fall 2008, 88% of SNA members surveyed for the Back to School Trend Survey reported that the NSLP reimbursement was not sufficient for their program to cover the costs of producing a school lunch, due primarily to food costs.

Connection Between Ethanol and Child Nutrition Program Costs 

Action Alert on National Nutrition Standards Legislation

Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) reintroduced legislation in March that would give the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to set federal nutrition standards for the sale of foods sold outside of the federal school nutrition programs. H.R. 1324, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009, would end the 'time and place' rule in schools. The bill is consistent with SNA's Legislative Issue Paper position  on national nutrition standards. A companion bill is expected to be introduced in the Senate soon. An Action Alert on HR 1324 can be sent through the SNA website here.

CDC Reports Food Safety No Longer Improving

The incidence of the most common foodborne illnesses has changed very little over the past three years, according to a 10-state report released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The findings are from 2008 data reported by the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), a collaborative project of CDC, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS,) U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and 10 state sites. FoodNet monitors foodborne disease and conducts related epidemiologic studies to help health officials better understand the epidemiology of these infections in the United States. Each year, the current data is compared to the previous three years and the period from 1996 to 1998, the first three years of surveillance. The FoodNet population is similar to the U.S. population and therefore provides reliable information on the incidence and trends of foodborne illness in the United States. Campylobacter, Cryptosporidium, Listeria, Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, Salmonella, Shigella, Vibrio, and Yersinia did not change significantly when compared to the previous three years (2005-2007), the latest data showed. Although there have been significant declines in the incidence of some foodborne infections since surveillance began in 1996, these declines all occurred before 2004. The incidence of Salmonella infections has remained between 14 and 16 cases per 100,000 persons since the first years of surveillance.

CDC Reports Progress in Foodborne Illness Prevention has Reached a Plateau 

 

SNA Legislative Action Center

Legislative Toolkit

PR Toolkit

State Policy Index

State and Federal Legislation

State legislation can now be accessed on the Internet through Netscan. Use Username: schoolnutrition and Password: sna

Click State Legislation Instructions for steps to access state legislation through the service. Legislatures currently in session include:  Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Federal, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.


 
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