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: US health officials perplexed by vaccination skeptics

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

Patients who smoke want respect from physicians

51 minutes ago

What is it like to be someone who smokes in today's increasingly smoke-free world? How can providers best interact with their patients who smoke and support their efforts to become tobacco-free? A new study by researchers ...

Make your diet anti-inflammatory with a few easy changes

1 hour ago

Use your search engine or explore a local bookstore, and you'll find a wide variety of anti-inflammatory diet books. This eating approach is promoted to reduce everything from heart disease to asthma, and often requires you ...

Getting enough sleep really isn't optional

1 hour ago

The typical adult needs 7 to 7 1/2 hours of sleep each night, while for teenagers and young adults under 25 about 9 to 10 hours of sleep per night is recommended, says Ann Romaker, MD, director of the University ...

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.