TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT / KSVT) – Child obesity skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and experts fear that extra weight could be an ongoing problem for these children.
One study looked at a large primary care network and found that obesity rose from thirteen point seven percent to fifteen point four percent in the first few months after the COVID shutdown.
To combat this, the American Heart Association is calling on Congress to pass the Child Nutrition Re-Approval Act. This bill would ensure the strengthening of evidence-based school nutrition standards, implement a universal school lunch and ensure food security.
“The current standards have improved the nutrition of children, they have healthier food in schools, their nutritional quality is increasing overall,” said Dr. Cheryl AM Anderson, Professor and Interim Chair of the Department of Family and Public Health at UCSD and Immediate Past Chair of the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Committee. “And in the run-up to the pandemic, the National School Lunch Program adhered to the nutritional standards in 99 percent of the participating schools. So this could be really effective legislation. “
The bill would also take steps to ensure children are fed by removing all stigma surrounding free lunches and financial burdens on families. For more information on the bill, visit the American Heart Association website.
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