Wednesday, October 26 , 2016, 3:28 pm | Fair 69º

Posted on February 7, 2014 | 10:12 a.m.

Jackson Introduces Bill to Encourage Healthy Eating, Exercise in After-School Programs

Source: Lisa Gardiner for State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, has introduced a bill to help prevent childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity in after-school programs.

Senate Bill 949 establishes the California Distinguished After School Health (DASH) recognition program. It proposes standards for physical activity, “screen time,” and the serving of fruits and vegetables for after-school programs. After-school programs that meet these proposed requirements will be awarded a special “DASH” certification.

Under the bill, parents could access a list of “DASH”-certified programs on the State Department of Public Health’s website, and after-school programs could display their certification on-site.

“Childhood obesity is a challenge we should be tackling on a number of fronts,” Jackson said. “This bill is about rewarding and recognizing after school programs that are making that extra, vitally important effort to make children’s health a top priority. Good eating and exercise habits, when developed early, can add to the long-term quality of life and reduce the costs of healthcare later on.”

The bill limits television or computer “screen time” and requires fruits or vegetables be served as snacks on a daily basis; prohibits fried foods, candy or sugary or high sodium foods or foods with transfats; and permits water, low-fat or non-fat milk or 100 percent fruit juice, but no beverages with added sugars.

SB 949 also requires 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity a day and staff training on healthy eating and physical activity standards.

There are more than 4,400 publicly funded after-school programs in California serving more than 1.5 million children.

JC Holt, chair of the California State Alliance of YMCAs, the sponsor of SB 949, said, “I am excited that California is the first state to sponsor legislation recognizing distinguished after school programs for their healthy eating and physical activity standards. Childhood obesity remains an epidemic in California. SB 949 is an important step to encourage after school providers to teach and model a healthier lifestyle for California’s children.”

Despite a slight drop in recent years, California’s childhood obesity rate remains dangerously high. In California, one out of three children are obese or overweight. Obese children are at an increased risk of becoming obese adults and developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, depression and cancer.

The standards recommended in the bill are based on research and the Institute of Medicine’s Early Childhood Obesity Prevention policies and the National Afterschool Association’s standards.

DASH certifications would be valid for one year, but could be renewed each year if the program continues to meet the standards.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of the Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.


Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >