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2009-09-03 digital edition

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2009-09-03 / School

Schools Open Healthier

With the beginning of the new school year, Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples announced the full implementation of the Texas Public School Nutrition Policy (TPSNP). This policy aims to curb childhood obesity and promote healthier lifestyles among Texas school children.

"Texas public schools have done an excellent job redesigning breakfast and lunch options for students to ensure they are receiving the nutrition required to stay alert and perform better in school and in life," Commissioner Staples said.

Starting last week, all Texas public schools participating in the National School Lunch Program are prohibited from making foods of minimal nutritional value available to students during the school day. As a result, public schools may no longer serve or sell carbonated beverages or any form of candy until after the end of the last class period.

Recent research points to a lingering obesity crisis in Texas, identifying 28 percent of adults as obese and 32 percent of children, ages 10-17, as overweight and obese.

Last year, nearly 4.7 million children had access to public school meals in the state of Texas. The ultimate goal is to develop and nurture lifelong healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors.

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