Child health advocates today are applauding the passage in the NH Senate of a bill that would limit the advertising of certain foods and beverages in NH schools. Senate Bill 103, sponsored by Senator Bette Lasky (D-Nashua), passed the state Senate. The bill aligns the foods that are allowed to be marketed and advertised at schools with existing nutrition standards for foods that can be served or sold on school grounds during the day.
Organizations working to pass the legislation include: the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network, NH Public Health Association, the NH Pediatric Society and MomsRising. These organizations maintain that efforts to teach kids healthy habits are being undermined by food industry marketing directed at kids in schools.
“This is a great day for children in New Hampshire. If a food or beverage can’t be sold in schools due to nutrition criteria, it shouldn’t be marketed there. We know that marketing influences children’s food choices and develops brand preferences for unhealthy foods and beverages. We are grateful for the support of Senators to help children grow up at a healthy weight and reduce costly chronic diseases,” said Nancy Vaughan, Government Relations Director at the American Heart Association.
“Children’s health, knowledge and dietary choices are strongly influenced by what they are exposed to where they live, learn and play. Advertising is known to affect dietary preferences, and schools should be places free of junk food marketing. We applaud today’s decision in the state senate,” said Catrina Watson, Executive Director of the NH Pediatric Society.
“Far too many of our children in the Granite State are at an unhealthy weight, which is likely to continue into adulthood, putting them at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This is one of the many steps we should be taking, and we are pleased that the state Senate voted in support of this common sense legislation,” said Katie Robert, Board President, NH Public Health Association.
“As Moms, we work hard to instill healthy eating habits in our children. We know that making healthy choices will give them a better quality of life as they grow up and help them reach their full potential. Junk food marketing in schools undermines parents and jeopardizes our kids’ futures by putting their health at risk,” said Christina D’Allesandro, NH Director, MomsRising.
“Poor eating habits, which lead to overweight issues, can cause several obesity-related cancers. Cancer is the #1 cause of death in New Hampshire. We should be doing all we can to help children and adults lead healthy lives and reduce costly, chronic disease,” said Mike Rollo, Director of Government Relations at the American Cancer Society/Cancer Action Network.
The bill now proceeds to the House of Representatives.
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