Today Congressman Matt Cartwright introduced the bi-partisan Nutrition Education Act with 22 original co-sponsors. This bill would require each local educational agency participating in the National School Lunch Program to include under its wellness policy a requirement for students to receive 50 hours of school nutrition education per school year.
Cartwright said, "There is a childhood obesity epidemic in America. Nearly one in three children are overweight or obese. Poor nutrition is threatening our children's health, likely making this the first generation in American history to live sicker and die younger than their parents." Cartwright added, "Obesity and associated health problems also take a toll on the nation's economy. Childhood obesity alone costs an estimated $14 billion annually in direct health expenses. Children covered by Medicaid account for $3 billion of these expenses."
The Nutrition Education Act recommends that the nutrition education should not only be part of health education classes, but also incorporated into classroom instruction in subjects such as math, science, language arts, social sciences, and elective subjects. With enjoyable, developmentally-appropriate, culturally-relevant, participatory activities, such as contests, promotions, taste testing, farm visits, and school gardens, children will learn about the importance of nutritional energy balance (caloric food intake vs. physical activity).
Congressman Cartwright was sworn in as a Member of the House of Representatives on January 3.
Co-Sponsors Include: Hon. Eleanor Norton, Hon. Charles Rangel, Hon. Sheila Jackson Lee, Hon. Yvette D. Clark, Hon. John Conyers, Hon. Raul Grijalva, Hon. Gloria McLeod, Hon. Corrine Brown, Hon. Keith Ellison, Hon. Beto O'Rourke, Hon. Donna Christensen, Hon. Donald Payne, Jr. Hon. John Delaney, Hon. Henry Waxman, Hon. Juan Vargas, Hon. Chaka Fattah, Hon. Michael Capuano, Hon. Rick Nolan, Hon. Filemon Vela, Hon. Mike McIntyre and Hon. Ted Yoho.