States Took Targeted Legislative Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity in 2010
More states took legislative action to address nutrition, physical activity and physical education in schools in 2010 than in 2009, according to a new report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). Twelve states developed policies to improve access to healthy foods and beverages in a variety of school venues, including meals, à la carte lines, stores and vending machines. Eight states and the District of Columbia enacted legislation related to physical activity or physical education in school, including laws requiring schools to preserve time for activity during the day.
State legislative action also increased around farm-to-school programs and farmers’ markets. Six states and the District of Columbia addressed farm-to-school efforts, creating new statewide programs to get locally grown produce to schools. And six states passed laws related to farmers’ markets, some of which make it easier for participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to use their benefits to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
The findings are part of the 2010 edition of Reversing the Trend in Childhood Obesity: Policies to Promote Healthy Kids and Communities, an annual analysis conducted by NCSL examining state legislative action to address childhood obesity.
The report was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation through its national program Leadership for Healthy Communities.