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Tuesday Morning July 29, 2008

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July 29, 2008

 

Table of Contents

ANC Highlights: Senator Casey to Introduce School Nutrition Legislation
Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS, Named President of the School Nutrition Association
SNA Issues Statement on PCRM and Campaign Against Processed Meats
Congress Holds Hearings on Childhood Overweight and Food Costs
Texas District Named District of the Year
Increasing Costs Continue to Make Headlines
Institute of Medicine Seeks Nominations for New Panel
Need Answers?  Check Out SNA’s Webinars!
Study: Sugary Snacks May Help Children Stay Focused

 

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ANC Highlights: Senator Casey to Introduce School Nutrition Legislation

Healthy eating and good nutrition were on the table as over 6,000 school nutrition professionals and industry representatives attended the 2008 SNA Annual National Conference in Philadelphia, Penn. this week.  Rising food costs, national nutrition standards, food safety and “going green” were among the hot topics discussed in education sessions.  Guest speakers included ABC Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts, actor and former Congressman Fred Grandy, environmental activist Colin Beavan, and motivational speaker Dr. Steve Sobel.  During the Monday general session, attendees were addressed by USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Nancy Montanez Johner. 

Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey (D) also made a special video appearance.  In welcoming SNA members to his state, Casey announced that he will introduce legislation to help school nutrition programs cope with rising food costs.  Casey, the junior senator from Pennsylvania, is a member of the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Conference attendees were able to sample the latest food and beverages for school nutrition professionals on the largest exhibit floor in the industry. Over 365 companies displayed a variety of products ranging from new innovative items such as yogurt cream cheese to healthy versions of long time favorites including pizza and chicken nuggets.

SNA received significant media coverage during this year’s conference.  Seven news organizations, including CBS, NBC, CN 8, National Public Radio (NPR), KYW-AM News Radio 1060, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Bucks County, Penn. Courier Times.  ANC 2008 also received coverage for future segments on NBC’s the Today Show, the Food Network’s Unwrapped, and NPR’s nationally syndicated A Chef’s Table. SNA members can use the press release template below to generate media attention in attendance at ANC. Please see Related Links for additional Information.

ANC Local Press Release Template 

CN 8 Your Morning, July 18
CBS 3, July 20
Fox 29, July 21
KYW-AM 1060, July 21
WHYY-FM, July 22
Bucks County Courier Times
Philadelphia Inquirer

Dr. Katie Wilson, SNS, Named President of the School Nutrition Association

Katie Wilson, Ph.D, SNS, Director of School Nutrition for the Onalaska School District in Onalaska, Wis. became the 61st  president of the Association.  Wilson holds a doctorate in Foodservice and Lodging Management from the Child Nutrition Program Leadership Academy at Iowa State University.  She is also credentialed a School Nutrition Specialist.  In addition to her work as a school nutrition director, Wilson has taught at the University of Wisconsin.

SNA Issues Statement on PCRM and Campaign Against Processed Meats

The School Nutrition Association (SNA) encourages the consumption of nutritious, well-balanced school lunches and breakfasts that follow federal nutrition guidelines based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These meals must provide students with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy and whole grains. A careful and scientifically rigorous review of the components required to be part of school meals is currently underway by an expert panel of the Institute of Medicine. Changes to the school meal menu pattern requirements, including calls by special interest advocacy groups to prohibit lean processed or cured meats from being served in schools, should be weighed carefully to ensure they are grounded in the most recent scientific research taking into account the limitations of epidemiological studies. For talking points and additional information, please visit Related Links.

SNA Statement on PCRM Cancer Project Report and Campaign
PCRM Cancer and Processed Meats Talking Points

Congress Holds Hearings on Childhood Overweight and Food Costs

Several different congressional committees held hearings last week concerning childhood overweight prevention.  During the past two weeks, the Children and Families Subcommittee of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee has held two hearings.  During the first hearing, on Wednesday, July 16, 2008, the subcommittee heard several child health experts testify on what the major concerns are regarding childhood obesity and what preventative measures need to be taken.  The second hearing, held the following Wednesday, included testimony from the Arkansas Surgeon General, a student, and two non-profit organizations on efforts to prevent childhood overweight.

The House Education and Labor Committee also held a hearing on childhood overweight prevention last week.  Representatives Ron Kind (D-Wis.) and Representative Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.) testified on their bill, HR 3257, the FIT Kids Act, which would require schools to offer physical education programs in schools, provide professional development to staff and faculty, and add physical education to the curriculum examined by the No Child Left Behind law.  The committee also heard testimony from health activists including fitness guru Richard Simmons, former pro-football player Tim Brown, a professor of public health, a student, and the director of fitness and health education for the New York City Department of Education.

This week, the House Budget Committee will hold a hearing on rising food prices.  Among the witnesses expected to testify is Josette Sheeran, Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme.

Texas District Named District of the Year

Spring (Tex.) Independent School District was named the District of the Year in School Nutrition during the final general session of ANC 2008. The District’s Child Nutrition Department was recognized for serving an increasing number of healthy school breakfasts and lunches and for superior financial and program management. Child Nutrition Director Melanie Konarik, SNS, accepted the award along with Assistant Superintendent Christine Porter on behalf of the district.

As the District of the Year in School Nutrition, Spring ISD was awarded $25,000 to further improve and enhance their school nutrition program operations. The funds will be utilized to establish a nutrition resource lending library, a “leading by example” staff wellness program, promoting the nutritional quality of school meals to key community stakeholders, expanding the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program in the district and conducting nutrition education promotions for students featuring the “Food Power Hero.”

Increasing Costs Continue to Make Headlines

The increasing cost of school meals continues to make headlines.  This week, U.S. News and World Report ran a story in the print edition of the magazine looking at the impact of rising fuel and food prices on school districts.  The magazine interviewed SNA President Katie Wilson.

Rising costs were also a central issue during the summer meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA).  In an article in Education Week, Joan Wodiska, the director of the NGA education committee announced that they are closely watching the rising cost of school foods.  She stated that “the federal program that picks up the most or all of the breakfast and lunch tab for children of low-income families isn’t keeping up with the cost of food.”  She further argued that this will soon become a big issue for state budgets.

In an effort to help SNA members respond to parent and media inquiries on rising school lunch prices, SNA has developed a two page fact sheet on the topic that can be downloaded below. Additionally please complete the survey linked below to provide current data on school lunch costs.

School Lunch Cost Survey
Rising Lunch Prices Fact Sheet for Parents 
Schools Battle Rising Gas and Food Prices 
Governors Skirt Education Issues at Summer Meeting

Institute of Medicine Seeks Nominations for New Panel

The Institute of Medicine is seeking nominations for an expert committee that will examine childhood obesity prevention efforts by local governments.  The committee will focus on identifying promising practices and recommended steps for local governments to use in childhood overweight prevention.  The committee will survey the range of local government efforts; identify promising practices and provide the supporting evidence base; and outline a set of recommendations and high-priority immediate actions for local governments.

Please send suggested nominations to Matthew Spear by e-mail at mspear@nas.edu, by fax to 202.334.2316, or by mail to 500 Fifth Street, NW, Washington , DC 20001 by August 8, 2008. 

Need Answers?  Check Out SNA’s Webinars!

SNA embarked on a new form of education in the spring of 2008 by producing two free web-based seminars (“webinars”), which gave SNA members the convenience of getting the information they needed without having to leave the office or home. The first webinar, produced in partnership with the National Dairy Council, was designed to help the listener learn from his/her peers about successful dairy bidding practices. Following close on the heels of the first webinar, the “High-fructose Corn Syrup and School Wellness: Science-Based Facts for Healthful School Nutrition Operations” webinar was also a success, with more than 450 participants in attendance. Please visit Related Links for additional information.

SNA Webinars

Study: Sugary Snacks May Help Children Stay Focused

British researchers released a study last week claiming that consuming sugary drinks and snacks can help children improve their memory and concentration skills.  Researchers from Swansea University in the United Kingdom gave children ages 9-10 a snack sweetened with either glucose or an artificial sweetener.  The children who ate the snack sweetened with glucose show improved memory test scores and greater concentration compared to students who ate a snack sweetened with an artificial sweetener.  The researchers cautioned that their findings should not cause schools to start serving soda and other high sugar items.  Instead, they encourage schools to provide fruit or muesli bars.

Sugary snacks help school children concentrate

 

 

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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: California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and District of Columbia

 

 

 

 


 
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