FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2004
AUSTIN, TX - Sen. Eddie Lucio, Jr., Chairman, will welcome renowned health and nutrition experts tomorrow to the Joint Interim Committee on Nutrition and Health in Public Schools to explain the obesity crisis among children in Texas, their successful programs and possible solutions to the problem.
Those expected to testify include Dr. Deanna M. Hoelscher from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, who will present her nationally released study revealing the serious problem of Texas having the most obese children in the nation. Dr. Paul Villas, from the Border Health Office at the University of Texas Pan American, will explain his work regarding diabetes afflicting children, with emphasis on the obesity crisis, especially among Hispanic children.
Dr. John DiGiovanni and Dr. Robin Fuchs-Young from the Science Park-Research Division of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center will discuss their work on Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer among children. Representatives of other health organizations, i.e., the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the Texas Council on Diabetes and others, will also offer input.
To outline the benefits and value of the Universal Breakfast Program in her district, Ms. Janice Cooper, Superintendent of Schools from Lake Worth will submit her findings. Dietitians and public school officials are expected to testify, as are members of the soda and vending industries. The general public, especially parents of public school children, are also invited to speak regarding the charges of the committee.
The committee is charged with:
- determining the nutritional content and quality of foods and beverages served to public school children, including food service meals, a la carte foods, and competitive foods and food provided in vending machines;
- evaluating the short-term and long-term financial, psychological, and physiological impact of obesity in public school children;
- assessing the academic, emotional, and health value of a universal breakfast and lunch program by evaluating school children from school districts that provide each child a free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch; and
- evaluating school contracts relating to competitive food products and vending machines.
Senate Committee Hearing Room E1.012
I. CALL TO ORDER II. ROLL CALL III. COMMITTEE BUSINESS A. OPENING REMARKS BY CHAIR B. ADOPTION OF MINUTES IV. UPDATE ON CHARGES FOR SENATE BILL 474 -Commissioner Susan Combs Texas Department of Agriculture -Commissioner Shirley Neeley Texas Department of Education -Barbara Keir, M.D., R.D., Director Bureau of Clinical and Nutrition Services Texas Department of Health V. INVITED TESTIMONY -Deanna M. Hoelscher, Ph.D., R.D., L.D., C.N.S. The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston -Paul Villas, D.Ed., CHES Border Health Office -University of Texas Pan-American -John DiGiovanni, Ph.D., Professor and Director Science Park-Research Division at U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -Robin Fuchs-Young, Ph.D., Associate Professor Science Park-Research Division, U.T. M.D. Anderson Cancer Center -Janice Cooper, Superintendent Lake Worth I.S.D. VI. PUBLIC TESTIMONY VII. OTHER BUSINESS VIII. RECESS