Comments on Amendment to 4 TAC
Schools are one of the key environments where our state can work to defeat childhood obesity. Texas schools reach more children than any other program or event. Schools influence Texas children for 180 days every year, and they represent an incredible opportunity to inform children about the importance of health, nutrition, activity, and provide children with a wholesome environment. In addition, research tells us that nutrition and physical activity have a major impact on academic achievement. Fit, nourished children perform better, miss less school, have fewer behavioral challenges, and are more likely to grow-up to be healthy, working adults. School meals also play a critical role in helping children learn how to lead healthy lifestyles.
Parents believe healthy school meals are important and want them for their kids. A survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts found that three-quarters of parents favor strong nutrition standards for school meals (72%). Most parents are concerned with the state of children’s health (80%) and childhood obesity (74%). The proposed changes to the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP) do not improve the nutrition of foods served to students during the school day and are counter to research-based practices that promote healthy eating. In fact, these changes could lead campuses to regress to some of the same unhealthy practices that fueled the child obesity epidemic through the 1980s and 1990s.