Letter to the Editor Concerning Children's Nutrition

May 30, 2003
Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

The importance of proper nutrition during the school day, as highlighted in the January 14, 2003 article, “Eat Your Vegetables? Only at a Few Schools,” is an issue that must concern parents, educators, and legislators alike.

As a New York State Assembly member, I have made children’s nutrition a high priority for the coming year. We must concentrate on the impact that proper nutrition has on a child’s ability to learn and succeed in school and the longer-term health implications of poor food choices. Childhood obesity is widespread and growing, along with childhood diabetes and hypertension. I am very concerned about the future health of our children and the future burden on our state’s health care system. As a new grandmother, I worry about how our children’s health is being compromised by unhealthy food choices.

Some schools in Los Angeles are launching a pilot project to replace junk food in their vending machines with healthy choices. I believe the time is right for us to do the same in New York because schools are where we set good examples. Vending machines with high-sugar drinks and foods high in saturated fat are not good examples. I have formed a citizen’s committee on nutrition to help craft a law for the state and to raise local awareness on this issue.

The complex problem of improving childhood health and nutrition requires a comprehensive and collaborative solution involving schools, parents, business and government. Improving food choices and nutrition education in our schools are two good beginning steps.

Sincerely,

Sandy Galef
New York State Assembly
90th Assembly District
2 Church Street
Ossining, NY 10562
914-941-1111