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Bristol, Connecticut, schools join state program to limit artificial sweeteners, sugar, fats for 8800 students, Johnny J Burnham, The Bristol Press: Murray 2006.09.22

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  • Rich Murray
    Bristol, Connecticut, schools join state program to limit artificial sweeteners, sugar, fats for 8800 students, Johnny J Burnham, The Bristol Press: Murray
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 22, 2006
      Bristol, Connecticut, schools join state program to limit artificial sweeteners, sugar, fats for 8800 students, Johnny J Burnham, The Bristol Press: Murray 2006.09.22


      Front Page
      An unsweet deal
      By Johnny J. Burnham, The Bristol Press 09/22/2006

      BRISTOL, Connecticut -- The Board of Education has decided to join the growing list of districts willing to give up some of its autonomy in exchange for financial incentives and participate in the state Department of Education's healthy food and beverage program.

      The state will now reimburse the district 10 cents per meal served in its public schools. Bristol stands to gain an estimated $90,000 with nearly 900,000 meals served during the school year.

      "We will no longer be able to sell anything to our students that is not approved by the state as being a healthy food or beverage," said Superintendent of Schools Michael J. Wasta.

      The district had to move quickly, Wasta said, when it learned that the state needed a response by October or it would not provide reimbursement for the meals served from the start of the school year until the date it received official notification of the district's plan to participate. This would cost Bristol approximately $9,000 a month.

      Although the district will gain financially, school fund-raising efforts may take a hit.

      Whether it be a bake sale or the middle school cheesecake sale, students, may not participate in the selling or handling of any high-sugared, non-approved food that has any connection with the school or its programs.

      Under Public Act No. 06-63, the only beverages permitted are
      "milk that may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners and no more than four grams of sugar per ounce;
      nondairy milks such as soy or rice milk, which may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners, no more than four grams of sugar per ounce, no more than 35 per cent of calories from fat per portion and no more than ten per cent of calories from saturated fat per portion;
      one hundred per cent fruit juice, vegetable juice or combination of such juices, containing no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners; beverages that contain only water and fruit or vegetable juice and have no added sugars, sweeteners or artificial sweeteners;
      and water, which may be flavored but contain no added sugars, sweeteners, artificial sweeteners or caffeine."

      All districts, whether taking advantage of the state's meal reimbursement plan or not, must abide by this new beverage law.

      However, schools are still authorized to sell banned items at an event occurring after the end of the regular school day or on the weekend as long as the food or drink is not sold from a vending machine or school store.

      According to the superintendent, soda and snack concessions are still permitted at Muzzy Field during sporting events.

      Although the board voted in favor of participating, one commissioner, Christopher C. Wilson, said joining was a mistake.

      "I certainly support the healthy lifestyle but [the state] is taking all autonomy away from the local school boards," he said. "We would only lose $90,000 if we turned this down but we would have the freedom to serve the students what we deem appropriate."

      Wasta added that to his knowledge only three districts have declined to participate.

      William Smyth, assistant to the superintendent for business, said that those that have chosen not to participate are small districts that do not serve a lot of meals and therefore reimbursement is minimal.

      Johnny Burnham covers Bristol health, education, school and children's issues. Contact him at jburnham@... or 584-0504 ext. 250.

      ©The Bristol Press 2006

      99 Main Street
      Bristol, CT 06010
      PHONE: (860) 584-0501 FAX: (860) 584-2192

      EDITOR: William Sarno
      E-MAIL: editor@...

      E-MAIL: letters@...

      Bristol Public Schools, Board Committees
      129 Church Street - Bristol, CT 06010
      Voice: (860) 584-7004 Fax: (860) 584-7611

      Mr. Christopher C. Wilson*
      254 Main Street Bristol, CT 06010
      H: (860) 583-5002 B: (860) 583-4127 cwilson@...
      Professional Insurance Agents, Connecticut
      Christopher C. Wilson, CIC, CLU, CPCU
      C.V. Mason & Co. Inc.
      254 Main St.
      P.O. Box 569
      Bristol, CT 06011-0569
      (860) 583-4127 E-mail: cvmco@...


      Elected in November 2003, the Bristol Board of Education consists of nine members who are each serving a term of four years. The present board has six Democrats who received the highest number of votes and three non-Democrats as required by the state law regarding minority representation on boards of education. The next election for all the Board of Education seats will take place in November of 2007.

      The board members all serve on a voluntary basis in these non-paid positions. In addition to the monthly regular meeting, board members participate in a number of standing and special committees and make recommendations to the full board for final action.

      There are 10 elementary schools, 3 middle schools, 2 high schools and 3 alternative programs at the secondary level which serve approximately 8800 students with a goal to provide the best education for every child. In addition, the school system administers an Adult & Continuing Education Program.

      Board of Education meetings are generally held on the first Wednesday of the month except for July, August and September which change.

      Mrs. Jane Anastasio
      74 Holley Road
      E-Mail: anastasio@...

      Mrs. Barbara Y. Doyle, Chairperson
      90 Jewel Street
      E-Mail: byandoyl@...

      Mrs. Julie M. Luczkow, Vice Chair
      84 Greystone Avenue
      E-Mail: julie_luczkow@...

      Mr. Thomas P. O'Brien
      272 Center Street

      Mrs. Gloria Marino
      10 Walnut Street

      Ms. Kizzy Hernandez
      79 Hull Street, Unit 2

      COUNTY: Hartford
      AREA: 26.6 sq. mi.
      POPULATION: 60,062
      EDUCATION: (860) 584-7000
      School Superintendent: Dr. Michael J. Wasta, PhD 860-584-7002

      policy includes prohibitions on artificial sweeteners and candy sales on school grounds during the school day, Massachusetts, Holbrook School Department, Superintendent Susan E. Martin: Murray 2006.08.19

      Connecticut bans artificial sweeteners in schools, Nancy Barnes,
      New Milford Times: Murray 2006.05.25


      School food act knocks soda and snacks
      By: Nancy Barnes 05/12/2006

      When students return to the halls of the New Milford public school
      system this fall, healthier foods and beverages will be in place, thanks
      to "An Act Concerning Healthy Food and Beverages in Schools"
      passed by the General Assembly on April 27.

      The new legislation, which takes effect July 1, applies to "any source"
      within school property, including, but not limited to, school stores,
      vending machines, school cafeterias, and any fund-raising activities on
      school premises, whether or not they are sponsored by the school,
      during regular school hours.

      Milk, for instance, may be flavored but contain no artificial sweeteners
      and no more than four grams of sugar per ounce.
      [ 48 grams per 12 oz ]
      Water may be flavored but contain no added sugars, sweeteners,
      artificial sweeteners or caffeine.
      One hundred percent fruit juice, vegetable juice or a combination
      of these juices shall contain no added sugars, sweeteners
      or artificial sweeteners, according to the legislation.

      "The Department of Education was supportive of it," said Susan Fiore,
      nutrition education coordinator in the State Department of Education,
      referring to the legislation.
      "We've been trying to work to help schools promote healthy eating
      as well as physical activity for kids."

      "It's bigger than an obesity issue," she said with reference to the catalyst for the legislation,
      while terming obesity among school children a big epidemic.
      "The bottom line is healthy kids, no matter what their size."

      "Obesity was the driving force behind all this, because it keeps climbing and climbing," she acknowledged.
      "We worry about the health of all kids.
      Many normal-weight kids are not healthy.
      They are not eating food that will keep them healthy in the long run,
      like fruits and vegetables."

      "We really looked at the concept of promoting less processing and more
      whole, natural foods," she said, with regard to the ban on
      artificial sweeteners.
      "Even if kids are drinking diet soda, they're not drinking milk,
      and they need to drink water."

      The vote for the legislation was close, with the final tally
      in the House 76 to 74, with four state representatives absent,
      and the vote in the Senate 24 to 8, also with four assemblymen absent.

      "I think it had a lot to do with party lines," Ms. Fiore said,
      noting that the bill came from State Sen. Donald E. Williams, Jr.
      (D-Brooklyn), who is president pro tempore of the state Senate.

      "There was opposition from the soda companies and the Teamsters,"
      she said, noting that the union had argued "there'd be nothing for delivery.

      "The soda companies sell juice. They sell water," she said,
      referring to the new markets the statewide legislation
      will open up as it decreases others.

      The legislation also includes incentives for school districts to apply
      nutritional standards to food that does not fall within federally assisted programs such as the National School Lunch Program,
      the School Breakfast Program, the School Milk Program
      and the After-School Snack Program,
      for which the New Milford school district,
      like others throughout the state, is presently reimbursed.

      "There are many other foods at schools that are not reimbursable,"
      she said, citing the sale of hot dogs or hamburgers.

      "There are no standards for those foods so now, everything besides
      the meals will have standards," she said, referring to standards the state Department of Education had worked out for foods
      within the past two years.

      The second part of the legislation gives school districts the option of
      applying DOE nutritional standards to all food items it sells.
      "If the school chooses to apply those standards to its food,
      it will get additional funding," she said, adding that the funding formula is still being calculated.

      Ms. Fiore affirmed that the legislation leaves optional the sale of foods that do not meet its nutritional standards in their faculty areas.
      "The school could choose to leave it in a faculty lounge," she said.

      ©New Milford Times 2006

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      Tel., (860) 355-4121; FAX, (860) 210-2150.
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      Connecticut's Team Nutrition Program

      If you have any questions about Team Nutrition please contact:

      Colleen Thompson, MS, RD (860) 486-1787

      Ellen Shanley, MBA, RD, CD-N (860) 486-0119

      University of Connecticut
      College of Agriculture and Natural Resources
      Department of Nutritional Sciences

      For more information on Connecticut Team Nutrition
      or the Healthy Vending and Snack Sales Pilot,
      contact Susan S. Fiore, MS, RD, Team Nutrition Director,
      at (860) 807-2075 or susan.fiore@...

      "Of course, everyone chooses, as a natural priority,
      to actively find, quickly share, and positively act upon the facts
      about healthy and safe food, drink, and environment."

      Rich Murray, MA Room For All rmforall@...
      505-501-2298 1943 Otowi Road Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505

      group with 76 members, 1,369 posts in a public, searchable archive
      http://RMForAll.blogspot.com http://AspartameNM.blogspot.com

      aspartame groups and books: updated research review of 2004.07.16:
      Murray 2006.05.11

      toxicity in rat brains from aspartame, Vences-Mejia A, Espinosa-Aguirre JJ et al 2006 Aug: Murray 2006.09.06

      NIH NLM ToxNet HSDB Hazardous Substances Data Bank
      inadequate re aspartame (methanol, formaldehyde, formic acid):
      Murray 2006.06.17

      Since no adaquate data has ever been published on the exact
      disposition of toxic metabolites in specific tissues in humans of the
      11% methanol component of aspartame, the many studies on
      morning-after hangover from the methanol impurity in alcohol drinks
      are the main available resource to date.

      Jones AW (1987) found next-morning hangover from red wine with
      100 to 150 mg methanol
      (9.5% w/v ethanol, 100 mg/l methanol, 0.01%,
      one part in ten thousand).

      Fully 11% of aspartame is methanol --
      1,120 mg aspartame in 2 L diet soda,
      almost six 12-oz cans, gives 123 mg methanol (wood alcohol).
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