American Heart Association - You’re the Cure

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August Recess Visit: Rep. John Kline

You’re the Cure advocate and Minnesota State Advocacy Committee member, Jolene Tesch and her two little ones Charlie and Raina visited Minnesota Representative John Kline’s office today to deliver a few special puzzle pieces highlighting nutritional foods that "fit" into a successful school day for every child. Like other advocates across the country, Jolene was puzzled by some Members of Congress are trying to roll-back strong nutrition standards for school meals. She especially wants to make sure her two little ones have healthy school lunches!  Thanks Jolene, Charlie and Raina for being great advocates and delivering this very important message and even snapping a picture while you visited the office.

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August Recess: Representative Peterson

You're the Cure advocates like Mary Bertram and Minnesota Advocacy Committee member, Jo DeBruycker are puzzled why some Members of Congress are trying to roll-back strong nutrition standards for school meals. So Mary and Jo made a visit to Representative Colin Peterson's office, delivering a special puzzle highlighting that nutritious foods "fit" into a successful school day for every child. They also made sure to grab a photo while there and even managed to get Rep. Peterson in the picture (even if it was only a picture of him).


Want to help too? Speak-up for quality food in schools: #SaveSchoolLunch

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Study Released on Childhood Obesity Policy

Health Talk (University of Minnesota)  posted an article today on Childhood Obesity Research.  Check it out! AHA's RVP of Advocacy, Rachel Callanan was co-author!

How our legislators make decisions depends on a variety of factors such as expert beliefs, constituents’ opinions, political principles and research-based evidence. And while we’d like to think more decisions are made utilizing research-based evidence, a new study by researchers at the School of Public Health and the Medical School at the University of Minnesota along with collaborators at the American Heart Association and the Public Health Law Center found only 41 percent of all formal legislative discussions over childhood obesity-related bills in Minnesota from 2007-2011 cited some form of research-based evidence.

The new study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked to quantify the extent to which research-based evidence compared to non-research-based information was used in legislative materials about childhood obesity, an issue that continues to be prevalent not only in Minnesota but across the U.S.

"Quantifying how legislators make decisions regarding childhood obesity is important because public health researchers, like those at the University of Minnesota, have produced a considerable amount of policy-relevant research," said Sarah Gollust, Ph.D., lead author and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. "Research evidence regarding obesity costs, causes, consequences and the impact of potential policies could be of great value for policy decisions if it is translated to decision-makers effectively." Continue reading the article here

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Farm to Childcare Program Introduced in MN

Check out this article from the Public News Service - MN, talking about how statewide childcare centers are starting to introduce healthy habits and fresh foods to young children. (photo courtesy of New Horizon Academy)

ST. PAUL, Minn. – An effort to get more fresh, healthy and local foods on the plates of children in day care is now ready to roll out across Minnesota.

The development of the Farm to Childcare curriculum was led by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Erin McKee VanSlooten, senior program associate of the institute’s Farm to Institution, says after a two-year pilot project, the curriculum has just been released for use statewide. Continue reading here

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Letter to the Editor - Fighting Childhood Obesity

The Southern Illinoisan hands out a "Golden Pen Award" every month to the person who writes the best Letter to the Editor.  Read below to see how Jagan M Ailinani,MD,FACR wants to fight childhood obesity.

To the Editor:

I commend Sen. Mattie Hunter, D-Chicago and Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston for proposing a tax(penny-per-ounce) on sugar-sweetened drinks to reduce obesity, particularly in children.

In the U.S, obesity among adults and children is a national epidemic; one in five children are obese and 1 in 3 are overweight. Severe childhood obesity rates have doubled since 1999. Obesity is turning young kids into biologic adults, aging them faster and facing adult illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, circulation problems, liver disease, kidney disease, cancer, sleep apnea, acid reflux, arthritis, depression and other diseases.

The main culprits of childhood obesity are sugar-sweetened drinks, sweets and processed foods. Marketing unhealthy food is the major cause of childhood obesity. Our kids are consuming too much sugar. One can of soda has 10 teaspoons of sugar. Drink sizes are getting bigger; from 7 ounces in 1955 to 40 ounces in 1990. Restaurants are offering super-size sodas with free refills for a dollar. Fruit juices, including lemonade, have plenty of sugar (a 20 ounce lemonade has 57 grams of sugar). According to new World Health Organization guidelines, only percent of a person's daily calories should come from added sugar, about 26 grams per day for a 2,000 calorie diet. Continue reading here

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Retired Generals From Minnesota Urge State Legislators To Increase Funding For Minnesota’s Safe Routes to School Program

On April 24th Mission: Readiness staff and a Minnesota volunteer met with Gov. Dayton and legislators to make the case for $6M for Safe Routes to School infrastructure.  The childhood obesity problem has been identified by the group as a national security issues.  Mission: Readiness also distributed a recent report showing how Safe Routes to School programs strengthen the future of national security by helping youth become more physically active. Read the report here

Additionally Rep. Dettmer asked House members to welcome and recognize Gen. Schulstad for his 34 years of service in the Air Force and his work with Mission Readiness to fight childhood obesity through initiatives like Safe Routes to School.

From Left: Kimberly Espinosa, Steve Doster, Gov. Dayton, Gen. Dennis Schulstad (retired), MDH Commissioner Ed Ehlinger, and Rachel Callanan (American Heart Association)

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