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Introduced by Senator Lyons of Chittenden District

Referred to Committee on


Subject:  Public health; education; sale of food and beverages on school grounds; nutritional standards; public health initiatives; eating disorders; CHAMPPS

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to establish nutritional standards for food and beverages sold on school grounds and to prohibit the sale of food and beverages which do not meet those standards.  In addition, this bill proposes to establish public health programs and initiatives related to childhood obesity, eating disorders, and chronic disease prevention.


It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:


The general assembly finds that:

(1)  The department of health coalition known as “CHAMPPS”—coalition for healthy activity, motivation and prevention programs—created by the general assembly in section 11 of Title 18 to address issues of cardiovascular disease and stroke risk factors, has made a preliminary assessment of health issues in Vermont and has found that cardiovascular disease is the number‑one killer of Vermonters.  Cardiovascular diseases and other leading causes of death in Vermonters such as stroke, diabetes, and many forms of cancer often result from childhood obesity.  In most cases, childhood obesity is preventable;

(2)  Twenty‑six percent of Vermont children are currently at risk for being or are overweight;

(3)  Only 27 percent of Vermont secondary students eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily; and

(4)  Proper diet and regular exercise are effective ways of preventing obesity and can be lifelong habits if taught well during childhood.

Sec. 2.  16 V.S.A. § 1266 is added to read:


(a)  Except for food and beverages sold as part of the program operated pursuant to section 1264 of this title, only the following types of beverages and food items described in this section may be sold on public school grounds during the regular and extended school day, as defined in subsection (f) of this section.

(b)  At least 50 percent of the beverage selections must be water and no‑ or low‑calorie options.  Beverage selections may include:

(1)  drinking water in any size container;

(2)  100 percent fruit juices in containers up to 12 oz. in high school, 10 oz. in middle school, and 8 oz. in elementary school;

(3)  isotonic (sports drink) beverages up to 66 calories and 8 oz. in high school only;

(4)  low‑ or no‑calorie beverages up to 10 calories and 8 oz.;

(5)  milk, low‑fat milk, and nonfat milk, including low‑fat and nonfat chocolate milk, soy milk, rice milk, and other similar dairy or nondairy milk up to 12 oz.;

(c)  Candy, snacks, side items, and desserts offered for sale as competitive foods in schools shall meet one of the following criteria in this subsection.  These foods include fruits, vegetables, yogurts (including drinkable yogurt and yogurt smoothies), puddings, soups, cheeses, snack chips (for example, potato, tortilla, corn, veggie), pretzels, crackers, popcorn, nuts, seeds, french fries, dried meat snacks, granola bars, energy bars, breakfast bars, health bars, cookies, brownies, snack cakes, coffee cakes, pastries, doughnuts, danishes, cereal, candy, confectioneries, chocolate, ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, popsicles, frozen fruit bars, and other similar foods.  Entrée items are not subject to these guidelines.

(1)  Any fruits with no added sweeteners or vegetables that are nonfried.  Because fresh fruits and vegetables vary in size and calories naturally, they have no calorie limit.  Calories for packaged fruits and vegetables, however, are easily ascertained according to package nutrition labeling, and calorie limits for these fruits and vegetables are specified as follows:

(A)  Fruits and vegetables packaged in own juice:  up to 200 calories in high school, 180 calories in middle school, and 150 calories in elementary school.

(B)  Dried fruits:  up to 200 calories in high school, 180 calories in middle school, and 150 calories in elementary school.

(C)  Fruits packaged in light or heavy syrup:  up to 200 calories in high school, 180 calories in middle school, and 150 calories in elementary school, provided they contain not more than 230 mg. of sodium and at least one or more of the following:  at least 2 grams fiber; at least 5 grams protein; at least 10 percent daily value of vitamin A, C, E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, or iron.

(2)  Any reduced‑fat or part‑skim cheese up to 1.5 oz.

(3)  Any other food that meets all of the following criteria:

(A)  Not more than 35 percent of total calories is from fat.  (Nuts, nut butters, and seeds are exempt from the limitation in this subdivision.)

(B)  Not more than 10 percent of calories is from saturated fat or not more than 1 gram of saturated fat.

(C)  The food contains 0 grams of trans fat.

(D)  The food contains not more than 35 percent sugar by weight.

(E)  The food contains not more than 230 mg sodium, except:

(i)  lowfat and nonfat dairy products can have up to 480 mg. sodium;

(ii)  vegetables with sauce and soups can have up to 480 mg. sodium if they contain one or more of the following:  at least 2 grams fiber; at least 10 percent daily value of vitamins A, C, E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, or protein; or at least half a serving of fruit or vegetables.

(F)  If products are dairy, they must be nonfat or low‑fat dairy and meet one of the following calorie requirements:

(i)  Not more than 100 calories;

(ii)  Vegetables with sauce and soups meeting the criteria in subdivision (3)(E)(ii) of this section can have 150 calories if they contain two or more of the following:  at least 2 grams of fiber; at least 10 percent daily value of vitamins A, C, E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, or protein; or at least half a serving or fruit or vegetables.

(iii)  Other foods can have up to 200 calories, provided they contain one or more of the following:  at least 2 grams of fiber; at least 10 percent daily value of vitamins A, C, E, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, or protein; or at least half a serving or fruit or vegetables.

(d)  For individual serving packages, the nutritional guidelines in this section are defined for a whole package as labeled on the package’s nutrition facts panel.  In the event that the food is bought in bulk but served individually, such as on an à la carte line, the guidelines apply to the standard serving size.

(e)  Food items not prepackaged with nutritional information by the distributor shall be required to have nutritional information (calories, percentage of calories from fat, percentage of calories from saturated fat, cholesterol, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, calcium, iron, vitamin A, and vitamin C), available to students on a display case, in a binder, or within information packets held by food service staff and available upon request.

(f)  The standards in subsections (a)–(e) shall apply to the sale of all foods on public school grounds, including in school stores, in à la carte lines in cafeterias, in vending machines, at concession stands, and at fundraisers.  The standards shall apply during the regular and extended school day.  For purposes of this section, the “extended school day” includes periods either before or after the official school day during which students may participate in activities such as student clubs; student government; band, drama, or athletic practice; or other similar programs.  It does not include school-related events at which parents or other adults constitute a significant portion of the participants or are selling beverages and food items, such as at booster events; or other school-sponsored events such as interscholastic sporting events, school plays, and concerts.

(g)  Fruit and nonfried vegetables shall be offered for sale at any location where food is sold with the exception of nonrefrigerated vending machines and vending machines that dispense only beverages.


(a)  The commissioner of education in consultation with the commissioner of health shall annually establish rules and guidelines for the training of all elementary, middle, and high school nurses in behavioral health and appropriate treatment and resources for eating disorders and for professional development for school nurses and aid staff to gain the most up‑to‑date knowledge on eating disorder treatment and identification; and guidelines to establish a referral program whereby medical resources in the community shall collaborate with schools to identify children in need of services and provide these resources through in‑school, outpatient, and inpatient settings, as appropriate.

(b)  The commissioner of health, in collaboration with the commissioner of education, shall review and analyze the trend in reported cases of obesity and eating disorders among students.  Such review shall include:

(1)  development and promulgation of data collection and reporting rules and guidelines associated with the implementation of this subsection;

(2)  evaluation of the trends of reported cases of obesity and eating disorders across the state;

(3)  a study of the access to high‑quality health care and whether students are receiving appropriate and adequate care in the treatment of obesity and eating disorders.

(c)  The commissioner of health shall establish an annual public service campaign to raise awareness of the issue of pediatric obesity and the state’s initiative to reduce the epidemic through available resources and support programs.  The campaign shall include:

(1)  public service announcements regarding physical activity, nutrition, and healthy lifestyles;

(2)  efforts to reduce the number of television viewing hours by children;

(3)  increasing state and local initiatives for free‑time physical activity for children;

(4)  reducing potential transportation barriers to available free‑time physical activities in the community;

(5)  increasing community areas of green space and indoor facilities for out‑of‑school and free‑time physical activities as well as addressing concerns about neighborhood safety;

(6)  distributing an information kit to schools, including brochures and tapes on pediatric obesity; and

(7)  creating an interactive website with information and resources on pediatric obesity.

(d)  The commissioner of health, in coordination with other relevant state programs and initiatives, shall study childhood obesity, nutrition, physical activity and education, and wellness in Vermont.  The study shall include an evaluation of the state of childhood obesity in Vermont, including physical education programs; school lunches; school snack and soda vending machines; adequate amounts of time for school lunch periods; mental health issues relating to eating disorders, including anorexia, bulimia, and obesity; and after‑school programs and national standards.  The commissioner shall report his or her findings and any recommended legislation to the general assembly not later than January 1, 2008, and every two years thereafter.

Sec. 4.  18 V.S.A. § 11 is amended to read:


The department of health shall:

(1)  Form a coalition to be known as “CHAMPPS,” coalition for healthy activity, motivation and prevention programs.

(2)  Include in the coalition interested parties that initially address cardiovascular disease and stroke risk factors, including, but not limited to: concerned with preventing chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes as well as other chronic diseases caused by obesity.  Coalition members shall include legislators; the commissioners, or their respective designees, of state agencies, such as the departments of agriculture, food and markets, education, forests, parks and recreation, public safety, and transportation; municipalities; representatives of the business community; the governor’s council on physical fitness and sports; the University of Vermont College of Medicine; hospitals; agricultural and nutritional initiatives; and organizations whose missions are associated with promoting heart health and reducing heart disease and stroke chronic disease prevention, such as the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association.  As needed, coalition members shall provide technical assistance, data sources, model intervention programs, entry into organizations and populations, and promotional support.

(3)  Meet, gather testimony and other information, and hold public hearings as necessary to develop the capacity to define the cardiovascular disease and stroke chronic disease burden on the state, and publish a cardiovascular disease and stroke chronic disease burden document, which shall include:

(A)  a description of the burden on the state of cardiovascular chronic disease and stroke and related risk factors;

(B)  a description of the geographic and demographic distribution of cardiovascular disease and stroke chronic diseases;

(C)  identification of trends in cardiovascular disease and stroke chronic disease, including trends in mortality, age of onset of disease, and age at death; and

(D)  mortality data, hospital discharge data, and behavioral risk factor surveillance system data.

(4)  Develop an inventory of policy and environmental supports related to cardiovascular and stroke chronic disease risk factors.

(5)  Develop a cardiovascular and stroke health chronic disease state plan, using Healthy Vermonters 2010 as a framework.  The plan shall be submitted to the governor, the secretary of human services, and the general assembly on or before December 1, 2004 2008, and shall include:

(A)  a summary of the burdens of cardiovascular chronic disease on the state;

(B)  challenges or obstacles to chronic disease prevention that require legislative, administrative, and community solutions;

(C)  strengths and successes contributing to chronic disease prevention;

(D)  risk factors associated with chronic disease;

(E)  strategies for promoting cardiovascular health, chronic disease and reducing the burden of cardiovascular chronic disease and related risk factors;

(F)  the needs of priority populations; and

(G)  any other information relevant to eligibility for funding from the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or from other public or private sources, to support cardiovascular health chronic disease prevention programs.


Sec. 2 of this act shall take effect for the first full school year following 180 days of passage.  The remaining sections shall take effect upon passage.

Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont