Obama: Nutrition bill vital to children's future

Dec 13, 2010 By MARY CLARE JALONICK , Associated Press

(AP) -- Thousands more children would get into school-based meal programs and those lunches and dinners would become more nutritious under a bill President Barack Obama signed into law Monday, part of an administration-wide effort to combat childhood obesity.

"At a very basic level, this act is about doing what's right for our children," Obama said before signing the bill. The ceremony was moved from the White House, where most signings are held, to an elementary school in the District of Columbia to underscore the point.

Besides Obama, the bill also was a priority for his wife, Michelle, who launched a national campaign this year against childhood obesity.

"We can agree that in the wealthiest nation on earth all children should have the basic nutrition they need to learn and grow," Mrs. Obama said. "Nothing is more important than the health and well-being of our children. Nothing."

The $4.5 billion measure would expand free school meals for the needy and give the government power to decide what kinds of foods may be sold in schools.

The legislation also increases the federal reimbursement for free school lunches by 6 cents a meal at a time when many school officials say they can't afford to provide the meals. The new money also will allow 20 million additional after-school meals to be served annually in all 50 states. Most states now only provide money for after-school snacks.

Obama used the occasion to laud lawmakers of both parties for passing the bill, saying it shows they can unite on issues that affect the future of the nation's children.

Explore further: Brazil to study legalization of medical marijuana

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Child nutrition bill stalls in House

Sep 30, 2010

(AP) -- First lady Michelle Obama's campaign for healthier school lunches has stalled in Congress after anti-hunger groups and more than 100 Democrats protested the use of food stamp dollars to pay for it.

Recommended for you

The hunt for botanicals

10 hours ago

Herbal medicine can be a double-edged sword and should be more rigorously investigated for both its beneficial and harmful effects, say researchers writing in a special supplement of Science.

Mozambique decriminalises abortion to stem maternal deaths

11 hours ago

Mozambique has passed a law permitting women to terminate unwanted pregnancies under specified conditions, a move hailed by activists in a country where clandestine abortions account for a large number of maternal deaths.

Infertility, surrogacy in India

12 hours ago

Infertility is a growing problem worldwide. A World Health Organization report estimates that 60-to-80 million couples worldwide currently suffer from infertility.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.