Senator McConnell's Child Nutrition Legislation Included in Farm Bill
*McConnell's legislation urges states to educate school children on the importance of nutrition and exercise*
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell announced Friday that the Senate approved his legislation to address the need for more nutrition education and physical activity in schools. The measure is included in the Farm Bill, which passed the Senate today.
"Over the past three decades, the childhood obesity rate has more than tripled, affecting over 4.5 million children," Senator McConnell said. "Children who eat well-balanced meals at school are more likely to develop lifelong healthy eating habits and encourage their families to make sensible food choices."
Senator McConnell's amendment will direct $18 million to states to educate school children on the importance of consuming a nutritious diet as well as increasing their level of physical activity. This money will be provided to the Team Nutrition Network, which is administered by the USDA, and then distributed to the states in the form of a grant.
It also calls on the USDA to conduct periodic surveys of foods purchased by school food authorities participating in the National School Lunch program. According to the USDA, the most recent data is over a decade old.
"New data would help USDA to provide guidance to schools to create meals that conform to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and better manage the types and varieties of food obtained by USDA on behalf of schools," McConnell said.