Amended Senate Bill-68 Will Perpetuate Poverty
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Senate Bill 68 was passed in order to ban the use of trans fats in Colorado public schools. It, however, became massively flawed on February 16, 2012 – the date it was amended to continue the distribution of trans fats to school districts under 1000 students. This will exclude more than HALF of the districts in the state of Colorado. Many of the schools that are excluded from the bill are located in more rural areas with a higher population of low income minorities. These are the students that tend to be the most disadvantaged and need our support! Looking at four of these districts that have been abandoned by the amendment to bill 68: Las Aminas, South Conejos, Huerfano, and Pueblo City the median household income is less than $35,000 per year for a family of four. Approximately 18% of these families live below the state poverty level of $22,050. These are the children that will get much of their daily nutrition from the food they are given in school. Colorado has recognized the problems with giving trans fats to children but by amending bill 68 it is excluding the children who need it most!
Why is this bill important? Trans fats cause a plethora of health issues including, but not limited to obesity, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, some cancers, sleep apnea, cardiovascular disease. All of these diseases are highly preventable, yet the amendment to bill 68 refuses to care for a large portion of Colorado’s youth.
- In 2007, Colorado was the 3rd leanest state in the country, in 2010 it fell to 23rd, according to the Colorado Health Foundation.
- Colorado has one of the fastest growing childhood obesity rates. Approximately 27.2% of the children in Colorado between the ages of 10-17 are considered overweight or obese.
- The center for disease control approximated that 70% of overweight children 5-17 show at least one risk factor related to obesity, 39% showed two or more risk factors.
- 1 in 7 preschool aged children living in low income groups are considered overweight.
- An article in Science Daily on October 25, 2010 studied a group of overweight children with a median age of 13, who had stiffening of the aorta this is directly related with cardiovascular deterioration.
Senate bill 68 is unique. It not only addresses the elimination of trans fat foods in lunches, but also in vending machines and before and after school programs. Examples of two of these programs are: 1) School breakfast program, which feeds thousands of children their most important meal of their day. 2) Afterschool Care Snack Program, which consists of childcare, snacks, education, and activities for children who stay in school after hours, often because they do not have a safe place to go after the school day has ended. These children spend 8-10 hours a day on school premises, eating food that the school provides.
Senate bill 68 WAS great, until it was amended. The children in these smaller districts aren’t exempt from the negative effects of trans fat consumption; why should they be exempt by senate bill 68? If this amendment is not CHANGED, it will negatively effect a huge population of Colorado children. We need to CHANGE the amendment to include ALL school districts regardless of how many students are enrolled. We need to hold all schools accountable for the food they serve our kids!
Please sign this petition and show all of the children of Colorado that you care about their health.
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