Schools across the country have been working hard to meet updated nutrition standards and Alabama ranks among the states seeing success according to a new study published in Childhood Obesity.
In a recent article in The Montgomery Advertiser, June Barrett, who oversees the Child Nutrition Program through the Alabama State Department of Education, said "I feel, due to our efforts since 2005, we have seen a reduction in childhood obesity in our state. The steps we have taken to improve nutrition quality are assisting in reducing obesity for the state of Alabama. There are areas of improvements, and I hope we continue evaluating the nutrition standards to assist our children to meet healthy lifestyle goals."
Alabama has been fighting childhood obesity since 2005 and was ranked in the F as in Fat report as having the most obese high school students in the nation in 2011.
Although progress has been made, much more remains to be done. Last month, policy experts, health food and grassroots advocates from a wide variety of organizations joined VOICES for Alabama’s Children and the American Heart Association in Birmingham to kick off the Alabama Healthy Food Financing Campaign. The campaign will focus on increasing access to affordable healthy foods to all Alabamians. The American Heart Association continues to support the nutritional standards put in place by the 2012 Healthy, Hunger-Free Act. The national school lunch, breakfast, and competitive foods nutrition standards are essential to heart health, teaching life-long healthy habits, and helping children perform better academically- and there is strong evidence that the new standards are making a difference.