Oklahoma State Senate
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March
Senator Bernest Cain
Bills to Improve Health of Oklahoma Kids Clear Senate
Two bills aimed at helping Oklahoma students become
healthier and more fit have won Senate approval. The measures, authored
by Senator Bernest
Cain, would ensure schools offer more nutritional foods as well
as physical education for students.
“Oklahoma is leading the nation in heart disease. The numbers
of new cases of diabetes being diagnosed are alarming. Both of these
diseases can be fought with a healthy diet and exercise. By ensuring
our schools are encouraging those things, we can improve the health
and quality of life for future generations of Oklahomans,”
said Cain, D-OKC.
Senate Bill 265 would prohibit elementary schools as well as junior
high or middle schools from allowing low-nutritional foods, except
for special occasions such as class parties.
Middle and junior high schools would allow students access to low-nutritional
foods only on special occasions, after school and provides an exception
for diet sodas.
High schools would be required to provide healthy food options.
School districts would also provide incentives to encourage healthy
food choices for high school students such as reduced prices.
Senate Bill 312 simply requires elementary schools to provide sixty
minutes of physical education or exercise a week for full-day kindergarten
students through the fifth grade. It also requires that school districts
at least provide physical education, which may include athletics,
to students at all grade levels.
According to the Oklahoma Fit Kids Coalition, one-third of American
kids are overweight, obese or at risk and that childhood obesity
in this country has doubled in the last 20 years.
“It’s a two-fold problem—kids are getting less
exercise. They’re staying inside and spending more time on
computers or video games instead of going outside, riding bikes
or playing. If they’re eating food of low-nutritional value
as well, then it is a recipe for health problems that can affect
them the rest of their lives,” Cain said. “These bills
can help turn that trend around.”
Both measures now move to the House of Representatives for further
consideration. Sen. Cain’s House co-author is Rep. Susan Winchester,
Senate Communications Office - (405) 521-5774