Statement from American Dietetic Association President Judith C. Rodriguez on Passage of Child Nutrition Reauthorization
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CHICAGO – The following is a statement from registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association President Judith C. Rodriguez:
The American Dietetic Association and its members commend Congress for passing the much-needed Child Nutrition Reauthorization on December 2. ADA renews its commitment to providing unique solutions that improve the health of Americans through food and nutrition.
The Senate bill passed today by the House of Representatives will reinforce efforts to reduce both child obesity and hunger. It is a cruel dilemma that hunger exists side-by-side in our country with a national obesity epidemic, especially among children. The passage of this historic legislation will address this dilemma.
Child Nutrition Programs include the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Food Program, Summer Food Service Program and WIC programs, serving over 30 million people every day. These programs create a safety net that ensures that children and adolescents at risk for poor nutritional intakes have access to a safe, adequate and nutritious food supply and nutrition screening, assessment and intervention. This new piece of legislation will elevate the importance of nutrition and nutrition education in these programs.
Registered dietitians are at the forefront of exciting changes in school nutrition and wellness across the U.S. These changes help create healthier school environments that ensure students are well-nourished and ready to learn. ADA members are involved in school programs such as promoting recess before lunch; leading farm-to-school efforts; creating community partnerships for school gardens; and providing nutrition education.
Registered dietitians are also leading through our work at health fairs; through community-based presentations; servicing on local health, food and nutrition committees; collecting food for food banks and soup kitchens; providing in-kind services to parent-teacher organizations and many other activities. Our commitment symbolizes 21st-century nutrition education, creating and solidifying lifelong healthy eating behaviors for children and families alike. ADA's School Nutrition Services dietetic practice group has approximately 1,000 members throughout the country who are employed at the local, state and national levels in child nutrition programs as researchers and educators; corporate dietitians supplying products or services to school foodservice operations; and consultants in school nutrition and wellness.
November marks the launch of Kids Eat Right, a joint initiative of ADA and its Foundation, which supports the efforts of the Let's Move campaign to end the childhood obesity epidemic within one generation. Kids Eat Right has the goal of educating families, communities and policy makers about the importance of high-quality nutrition and raising awareness of the need to help children meet their nutrient requirements. Kids Eat Right provides resources for registered dietitians to participate in community and school childhood obesity prevention efforts and to gain their deserved recognition as leaders in child nutrition.
The American Dietetic Association is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. ADA is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy. Visit the American Dietetic Association at www.eatright.org.