, September 24, 2010 –
The American Public Health Association sent a
letter to House Committee on Education and Labor Chairman George Miller this
week urging the House to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act that would
bring the nation one step closer to improving nutrition and promoting physical
activity and wellness for millions of children across the country.
APHA strongly encourages
the House to pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act before the legislation expires
on Sept. 30.
The text of the letter
from Dr. Georges Benjamin, executive director of the American Public Health
Association, is below.
September 22, 2010
The Honorable George
House Committee on
Education and Labor
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Miller:
On behalf of the American
Public Health Association, the oldest and most diverse organization of public
health professionals and advocates in the world dedicated to promoting and
protecting the health of the public and our communities, I write in strong
support of S. 3307, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which could come to the
House floor for a vote later this week. We thank you for your continued
leadership on child nutrition issues and we stand ready to work with you to pass
this important public health legislation.
Good nutrition should
begin in childhood when eating habits are formed and chronic diseases begin to
develop. Yet over the last two decades, rates of obesity have tripled in
children and adolescents. Only 2% of children eat a healthy diet which can
increase the risk of heart disease, cancer, stroke, and diabetes, which are
leading causes of death, disability, and high healthcare costs.
We are pleased with the
new investments and important policy changes included in this critical public
health legislation. Specifically, the bill would: update the nutrition
standards of school meals; limit the sale of junk food in schools; provide
greater reimbursement and more training to schools so they can serve more
nutritious meals; improve and simplify the application process; increase the
use of foods from local and regional sources and support improved school
nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.
Thank you again for your
leadership and for making our children’s health a priority. We urge the House
to quickly pass the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act and send it to the president
for his signature before the programs expire on September 30.
Georges C. Benjamin, MD,
FACP, FACEP (E)
For more about APHA, visit