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Resolution to Implement Nutrition Standards in Public Schools

  WHEREAS:  Twenty four percent of high school students in New Mexico are overweight or at risk of overweight. (1) In 2000, 15% of U.S. children aged 6 to 11 were overweight and nearly 16% of adolescents were overweight, double and triple the rates 20 years ago. (2)

  WHEREAS:  Childhood obesity accelerates the development of chronic diseases, such as Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, sleep apnea, gall bladder disease, asthma, cancer and others. (3) Type 2 diabetes, previously considered an adult disease, has increased dramatically in children and adolescents. (4)

  WHEREAS:  Between 1979 and 1999 in the U.S., the cost of children hospitalized with an obesity related diagnosis, more than tripled. (5)The annual cost of medical expenditures attributed to obesity in N.M. is $324 million. (6)

  WHEREAS:  Poor nutrition, along with lack of physical activity, is a modifiable risk factor for the development of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. (3)

  WHEREAS:  Children's diets are high in added sugars. The consumption of sugar sweetened drinks among children is associated with obesity in children as measured by Body Mass Index (BMI). BMI increases for each serving of a sugar sweetened drink per day. (7)

  WHEREAS:  Forty-three percent of elementary, seventy-four percent of middle, and ninety-eight percent of high schools have either vending machines, a school store, or snack bar where students can purchase food or beverages that compete with the federally supported Child Nutrition Programs. (8)

  WHEREAS:  More students are choosing to purchase foods from "competitive" sources such as a la carte and vending, which, unlike the USDA Child Nutrition Programs, have no federal nutrition guidelines. (7)

  WHEREAS:  Ninety-eight percent of U.S. school-aged children do not meet the Food Guide Pyramid serving recommendations for all five food groups. (9) Inadequate nutrient intake can have lasting effects and compromise cognitive development and academic performance. (10)

  WHEREAS:  Students participating in the USDA Child Nutrition Program have increased test scores, higher average intake of many nutrients otherwise lacking in their diets, and consume fewer foods and beverages high in fat and added sugar. 9   Children who are offered nutritious foods and beverages will eat more healthful. (11)

  WHEREAS:  The school environment should provide a consistent message that good nutrition is important and valued. Schools play a role in promoting healthy eating practices and the development of good health habits in children to help reduce obesity and offer lifelong benefits.

  WHEREAS:  The undersigned organization agrees to join New Mexico Action for Healthy Kids, the New Mexico Coalition to Promote Physical Activity and Nutrition, and New Mexico Pediatric Society in supporting the implementation of a state-wide policy to establish nutrition standards in NM schools which assures that school children have access only to nutritious foods and beverages during the school day.