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Week of 1/10/11: Healthy schools highlights

USDA calls for dramatic change in school lunches

Hold the french fries and salt. The government is calling for dramatic changes in school meals, including limiting french fries, sodium and calories and offering students more fruits and vegetables. The proposed rule, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will raise the nutrition standards for meals for the first time in 15 years. Read more in USA Today.

New research shows schools ignore children’s health

Advocates today released early results of a nationwide survey of school nurses and urged the EPA to complete congressionally mandated environmental health guidelines for the states to help address school conditions. Reponses to the nationwide survey indicate over 40 percent of more than 350 respondents say that they know children and staff adversely impacted by avoidable indoor pollutants and that virtually no agencies assist local schools. Read the press release issued by the National Association of School Nurses.

California scraps Jamie Oliver

Australia’s Sydney Morning Herald reports on celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s recent converts – and critics. Oliver selected the flood-hit Queensland town of Ipswich for Australia’s first Ministry of Food program, which aims to combat obesity by helping locals cook simple and nutritional food but his attempts to change eating habits in the home of showbusiness have suffered a setback. Education officials in Los Angeles, meanwhile, have rejected an opportunity to have the chef make a television series about the city’s school lunches.

Wii in PE? If it gets you moving

Some days you may not feel like going to PE, but would you ever groan about playing Wii? You probably said


no to that question, which is why some schools are starting to use active video games such as Wii and Dance Dance Dance Revolution as one part of their physical education programs. Read more in the Washington Post.

New report asks whether chocolate milk is better than no milk in school

“Milk — it does a body good,” claimed a ’90s dairy industry advertising campaign, and few have dared to question the industry’s position that children need calcium and vitamin D however they can get it, even if it comes from sweetened flavored milk. (The National Dairy Council’s latest campaign is even called “Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk.”) But a landmark study on calcium and vitamin D nutrition recently published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) poses a serious challenge to that idea, finding that only girls aged 9 to 18 might need more calcium – and only by an amount contained in a half-serving of calcium-fortified cereal. Read more in the online magazine Grist.

Could better classroom interventions curb childhood obesity?

As childhood obesity rates soar, initiatives in the classroom aimed at teaching nutrition and physical activity, such as the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign, become more prevalent. But are they working?

 A new study of 26 school-based nutrition interventions in the United States and found while many of these programs are on the right track, there are some crucial pieces missing. Read more in Consumer Affairs.

Concussions bill aims to protect high school athletes

The story of Zackery Lystedt told state senator Bill Landen it was time for Wyoming to place a greater emphasis on concussion awareness.

“I actually became a little more aware of it through my son Nick, who is a high school [la crosse] coach out in … the state of Washington,” Landen said. “It made me aware of what they call the Zackery Lystedt law.”

Read all about it in the Casper Star-Tribune. And find out what’s happening in Colorado to prevent head injuries among student athletes in this EdNews Parent article, with excellent accompanying resources.

Cherry Creek schools will see increase in price of paid lunches

The Cherry Creek School District Board of Education heard a far-reaching review of the district’s current and future nutrition policy during its regular meeting Monday. Read more in the Aurora Sentinel about slight increases in school lunch costs and new nutritional guidelines.

Colorado Summer Food Summit planned

Colorado’s Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) helps to combat childhood hunger by ensuring low-income children receive nutritious meals during long school vacations. To learn more about how your community can benefit from this program, please plan to attend the Colorado Summer Food Summit on Thursday, Jan. 20.  This free, one-day conference will provide valuable networking opportunities and resources and technical support for prospective, new and experienced SFSP sites and sponsors. The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required.  Travel scholarships are available for people traveling more than 65 miles.

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