Congressman Bill Owens today urged local schools to take part in the Smarter Lunchroom Movement, promoting the cause to help children make healthier choices and build off the success that pilot programs from Saranac Lake and Plattsburgh schools have achieved.
"Childhood obesity is a serious problem in New York State, and programs like the Smarter Lunchroom Movement help us to tackle this issue head-on." said Owens. "Providing healthier choices in schools will allow students to live the full and active lives they deserve and, in doing so, prevent disease and bring down the overall cost of health care."
The Smarter Lunchroom Movement is sponsored by the Cornell BEN Center at Cornell University. The program helps children to make healthier choices by working with schools to change their lunchrooms in ways that actually encourage healthier eating.
Between 2007 and 2008, more than one-third of children in the nation ages 6 to 19 were considered overweight or obese. In New York, 32% of surveyed children in pre-Kindergarten through 10th grade were reported as overweight or obese. Schools from Saranac Lake, Beekmantown, Peru and Plattsburgh have participated in pilot studies that helped to develop techniques that promote healthier eating habits in schools.