On December 13, 2010, President Barack Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which aims to boost nutrition and taste in school food. The bill will give the government the authority to regulate nutritional standards of all food that is regularly sold in schools – including vending machines – and will offer more funding for the schools that have more nutritious meals. This is a great step toward healthy eating, since over 31 million children in the U.S. participate in school lunch programs. Providing meals that are healthier and more nutritious will likely help to curb the growing percentages of obese and overweight children; in 2008, 10% of children ages 2-5, and 20% of children ages 6-18 were obese.
Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables goes beyond simply following the Food and Drug Administration’s recommendations for healthy eating. As obesity becomes more prevalent, so do other serious conditions, including hypertension, stroke and type 2 diabetes. In fact, the American Cancer Society found that 1/3 of cancer deaths in Minnesota are linked to obesity. That means that with about 9,000 cancer deaths per year, 3,000 may have been preventable. Eating fruit and vegetables provide healthy options for snacking and make important additions to every meal; they provide nutrients as well as being good choices to help control weight and avoid related health issues.
Starting at the White House with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act is a great step in the right direction for the country as a whole. Having fresh, organic fruit from FruitShare™ always at your fingertips is a great way to help keep your family healthy.