2004 Regular Session
By: Representative Guice, Hamilton (109th), Parker, Pierce, Read, Wells-Smith, Zuber, Clarke
A RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE MISSISSIPPI DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO WORK COOPERATIVELY WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND CITY, COUNTY AND OTHER LOCAL SCHOOL SYSTEMS TO DEVELOP SCHOOL MENUS CONTAINING FOODS THAT WILL FOSTER LIFELONG HEALTHY EATING HABITS AND PARTICULARLY FOODS CONTAINING MARINE-SOURCE LONG CHAIN OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS.
WHEREAS, Omega-3 is the term used by scientists to define one "family" of fatty acids known as "good fats" for their health benefits and these fatty acids can be found in fish and marine sources; and
WHEREAS, studies suggest that Omega-3 fatty acids may improve memory, reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases and help reduce the risk of certain cancers and kidney disorders; and
WHEREAS, learning disabilities and behavioral disorders have been linked to low serum levels of Omega-3 fatty acids; and
WHEREAS, the American Heart Association states that Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown in epidemiological and clinical trials to reduce the incidence of cardiovascular disease; and
WHEREAS, the vascular injury that leads to death begins in childhood; in fact, one in ten, 15- to 19-year-olds already has narrowing and hardening of the coronary arteries due to food imbalances, and Mississippi's annual cost of cardiovascular disease is approximately $3,700,000,000.00; and
WHEREAS, overweight adolescents are much more likely to become overweight adults with an increased risk of developing heart disease and stroke, diabetes, gallbladder disease, arthritis and endometrial, breast, prostate and colon cancer; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has determined that the diet of only two percent of school-age children meets the Food Guide Pyramid recommendations for all five major food groups; and
WHEREAS, the administrator of the White House Office of Management and Budget Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs has strongly urged the United States Department of Agriculture and the United States Department of Health and Human Services to consider revising the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the Food Guide Pyramid to emphasize the benefits of reducing foods high in trans-fatty acids and increasing consumption of foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids; and
WHEREAS, the United States Department of Agriculture has testified before Congress that it has worked with schools to more closely align the meals they serve with dietary guidelines and that schools will earn USDA incentives if they design nutritional programs that, among other factors, serve meals that meet federal nutrition standards; and
WHEREAS, it is vital that the State Department of Education explore all opportunities and options relative to increasing the quantity of foods rich in marine-source long chain Omega-3 fatty acids on school menus in order to promote the optimal health of students in Mississippi schools:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, That we do hereby request the Mississippi State Department of Education to work cooperatively with the federal government and city, county and other local school systems to develop school menus containing foods that are appealing to children and high in nutrition and that will foster lifelong healthy eating patterns, particularly foods containing marine-source long chain Omega-3 fatty acids.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the State Superintendent of Education, the Mississippi Office of Child Nutrition and the Mississippi Office of Innovation and School Improvement.