NO. R-406. Joint resolution relating to education.
Offered by: Committees on Education and Health and Welfare.
Whereas, physical inactivity and poor nutrition are major risk factors for developing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes and increase the risk of stroke, obesity, high blood pressure, and low HDL, and
Whereas, physical inactivity and poor nutrition-related problems are the second leading cause of death in the United States and together account for at least 300,000 deaths and $100 billion in costs annually, and
Whereas, regular physical activity and good nutrition reduce health risks, improve academic performance, and reduce the risk of obesity in children, and
Whereas, research shows that our lifestyle choices account for 50 percent of health problems, and
Whereas, obesity and excess weight in children and teens have tripled over the past four decades, one in five children in the United States is overweight, and 26 percent of Vermont children in grades 8-12 are overweight, and
Whereas, research shows that overweight adolescents are much more likely to become overweight adults, and
Whereas, one of the most serious aspects of being overweight and of obesity in children is Type II diabetes which skyrocketed from three to 16 percent of all childhood diabetes between 1992 and 1994, and
Whereas, only 17 percent of Vermont students take physical education classes five days a week, down from 28 percent in 2001, and
Whereas, 35 percent of Vermont students spend three or more hours per school day watching television, playing video games, or using the computer for fun, and
Whereas, only 27 percent of Vermont students eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables per day, and
Whereas, schools and communities are in an excellent position to contribute to the formation of healthy nutrition and physical exercise habits in Vermont children, and
Whereas, many organizations provide information about the problems and potential programs and policies that schools and communities could use to improve childhood nutrition and physical fitness, for example, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, American Heart Association, the American Council for Fitness and Nutrition, the Vermont Medical Society, the USDA School Lunch Program, American Academy of Pediatrics, Vermont Department of Education Safe and Healthy Schools team, National Association of State Boards of Education, Vermont F.E.E.D., Vermont School Community Health Council, Beeman Healthy School Team, Vermont Campaign to End Childhood Hunger, and the Vermont Department of Health, and
Whereas, there are many programs available to help schools and communities improve childhood wellness, for example, Action for Healthy Kids, a collaborative of more than 35 national education, health, fitness, and nutrition organizations and government agencies; the Vermont Fit and Healthy Kids initiative of Governor Douglas; the Carol M. White Physical Education for Progress grants program of the U.S. Department of Education; the 5-a-Day Better Health Program of the National Cancer Institute and the Produce for Better Health Foundation; Kidnetic.com, funded by food and beverage companies; and America on the Move developed by the University of Colorado’s Center for Human Nutrition, now therefore be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:
That the General Assembly recognizes that childhood physical inactivity and poor nutrition are serious issues that should be addressed by schools through good nutrition and physical fitness policies, and be it further
Resolved: That schools should engage their communities in developing nutrition and fitness programs, and be it further
Resolved: That schools and communities should work with organizations available to help them understand childhood wellness programs and to develop programs, activities, and policies to address inactivity and poor nutrition, and be it further
Resolved: That the commissioner of education shall send a copy of this resolution to each municipal legislative body and to every Vermont school board.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street