Our Call to Seattle School Board

Jun 5, 2012 by

Our Call to Seattle School Board

FINAL UPDATE – Wednesday, June 20, 2012

We are pleased to announce that the Seattle School Board voting overwhelmingly in support of a changed amendment to keep unhealthy food and beverage ads out of schools. Please see the summary of the Board meeting and their final vote here, as well as a recap of our efforts below.

UPDATE – Monday, June 18, 2012

On behalf of the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition and our partners at the American Heart Association, we wanted to provide the latest update on the Seattle School Board’s consideration of changes to policy number 4237 – regarding advertising and commercial activities. While we are pleased to report that an amended version of the draft policy attempts to capture the spirit of our concern over advertising unhealthy foods and beverages to school children, we have learned that the actual language is problematic in its lack of specificity.

We have written the Seattle School Board with proposed language that we hope will eliminate any loopholes in the policy.

Let Seattle School Board know that you support clear language in its commitment to keeping kids healthy. Submit your support via the American Heart Association here.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Schools should be a safe place where students learn to make informed decisions about nutrition, physical activity and health.

That’s why we at COPC and our partners at the American Heart Association are concerned about what’s happening in Seattle (see our letter to the Seattle School Board).

Right now, the Seattle School Board is considering allowing advertising on school fields, scoreboards, stadiums and even in the annual calendar. This could allow companies to market unhealthy food and beverages directly to students on school grounds and in school publications —places where students should be free from commercial distraction!

Join us in telling the Seattle School Board to put students’ health first and continue to ban marketing of “unhealthy beverages and foods”.

Those seeking to change the current policy say the advertisements will bring in additional revenue, although even they admit the amount that could be raised “is unknown at this time.”

What is clear, however, is that the ads would promote unhealthy food choices and compromise the educational environment at school.

Studies show that exposure to unhealthy food marketing increases children’s obesity risk. Young people already are exposed to advertising nearly every place they look off-campus — our schools should provide a safe place for them to learn without all that noise.

Plus, many of the potential ads would promote unhealthy products on fields and stadiums, where our students are taking part in physical activity. What a mixed message that would be!

There are healthier ways for the district to bring in additional revenue. Students health and well-being should not be jeopardized. We hope you’ll speak up with COPC and the American Heart Association for healthy school environments today.

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