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This article appeared on the Latino Coalition for a Healthy California's blog.

On May 12th, the California Assembly Health Committee will hear a new bill seeking to address one of the major health crises of our time. AB 1357 (Bloom) – The Children and Family Health Promotion Program – will create a dedicated revenue source enabling California to start to address the diabetes epidemic that is impacting our communities with devastating consequences. Comprehensive prevention efforts to reduce the diabetes epidemic in California will be supported through a 2 cent per ounce fee on sugary drinks that are distributed in the state.

California must get out in front of this preventable disease that is disproportionately affecting communities of color.

To “get” diabetes in our communities has become normal. As I travel across California where we host regional meetings from as far north as Eureka to El Centro in the South and all points in between, it saddens me when I ask those in the audience to raise their hands if someone in their immediate family has diabetes. It saddens me even more when I ask them if they have diabetes and they answer me, “Not yet” or “Todavia no.”

We cannot afford to wait any longer to take action.

You can help advance legislation to stem the growth of diabetes and promote healthy options to consumers. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in California and continues to disproportionately impact communities of color. Two legislative proposals are seeking to help make consumers aware of the health problems associated with sugar-sweetened drinks and to promote healthy alternatives. Please send in your letter of support for AB 1357 (Bloom) and SB 203 (Monning).

Letters of support must be received by this Wednesday, April 15th, so please download and send in your letter TODAY.

AB 1357 (Bloom) would require a 2-cents-per-ounce fee on sugary drinks, which would allow the state to invest in communities that are disproportionately impacted by type 2 diabetes and related sugary drink consumption diseases. Download a sample letter of support for AB 1357.

  • Hearing Date: April 21, 1:30 PM, Room 4202
    Assembly Health Committee

SB 203 (Monning) would require a warning label on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. Download a sample letter of support for SB 203.

A few weeks back, we had a great post from California Food Policy Advocates (CFPA) on the Child and Adult Care Food Program’s (CACFP) updated nutrition standards. It included a lot of great background information on the program and details about the current update process:

"In 2010, through the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, Congress required the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to update the CACFP meal pattern and better align it with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Under the proposed rule, meals served to children in child care will include a greater variety of vegetables and fruits, more whole grains, and less sugar and fat. This proposal is the first major update of the CACFP meal patterns since the program's inception in 1968. The public has 90 days to comment, with all comments due by April 15, 2015."

On January 9, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a proposed rule with new science-based nutrition standards for meals provided through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The CACFP provides reimbursements for meals and snacks served to children in child care facilities, after-school programs, and emergency shelters. Each day, an average of 475,000 children in California are benefitting from the nutrition resources provided through CACFP. 

California has more than 3 million children between the ages of 0 and 5, of which more than one in four (26.6%) live in poverty. Early childhood is a critical time of development. Nutrition habits and preferences are developed within the first five years of life. Young children are especially vulnerable to the impacts of food insecurity, with poor nutrition affecting a young child's ability to learn and grow. CACFP is an essential component of our child care system. Not only does the program ensure young children in child care receive adequate and healthful foods, but it also supports the overall quality of child care. 

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