Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Bill Encourages Healthy Choices for Kids’ Drinks

DENVER—Today the Senate Education Committee approved Senate Bill 129 in support of healthier beverage options in schools and healthier kids in Colorado.

Sponsored by Senator Dan Gibbs (D-Silverthorne), the bill requires school districts and the Colorado State Charter School Institute to establish policies prohibiting the sale of unhealthy beverages at school cafeterias, vending machines, school stores, and fund-raising activities.

“We can do better in Colorado and our kids deserve better,” Gibbs said. “With the passage of this bill we’re setting our sights on the problem of childhood obesity.”

The bill directs the State Board of Education to determine which drinks are considered healthy enough to meet child nutrition beverage standards. Those drinks could include milk, 100 percent fruit and vegetable juices and bottled water.

The bill also encourages schools to adopt a wellness policy ensuring a child's access to healthy food and beverages on the school premises, nutritional information, daily physical activity; and instruction regarding proper nutrition and health.

If passed, both parts of the bill would take effect Sept. 8, 2008. The federal "Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004" requires adoption of such a policy by all districts receiving funding under either the National School Lunch Act or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966.

The bill next heads to the full Senate for consideration.