(1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that:
(a) Overweight children and youth and obesity among children and youth are major public health threats, and being overweight is now the most common medical condition of childhood. An estimated nine million young people in the United States are considered overweight. In Colorado, obesity in the adult population has more than doubled since 1991. Childhood obesity is related to the development of a number of preventable chronic childhood diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, and overweight children are likely to become overweight adults with increased risk of developing high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease, arthritis, and endometrial, breast, prostate, and colon cancers.
(b) Schools can play a major role in reducing the number of overweight and obese children and youth. Schools are places where students can gain the knowledge, motivation, and skills needed for lifelong physical activity and lifelong healthy eating habits and are also places for students to practice healthy eating habits.
(c) Meeting a student's basic nutritional and fitness needs will increase a student's cognitive energy to learn and achieve, and, as a result, the overall educational process will be more effective.
(2) As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "Competitive food" means any food or beverage available to students that is separate from the school district's nonprofit, federally reimbursed food service program and is provided by a school-approved organization or a school-approved outside vendor.
(b) "School day" means one hour prior to the start of the first class period to one half hour after the end of the last class period; except that, for schools not offering school breakfast, "school day" means one half hour before the first class period to one half hour after the end of the last class period.
(3) On or before July 1, 2006, each school district board of education is encouraged to adopt policies ensuring that:
(a) Every student has access to healthful food choices in appropriate portion sizes throughout the school day. At a minimum, this includes the provision of:
(I) Healthful meals in the school cafeteria made available to students with an adequate time to eat;
(II) Healthful beverages sold to students on school campuses, pursuant to section 22-32-134.5; and
(III) Healthful items for fundraisers, classroom parties, and rewards in the schools.
(b) (I) Every student and his or her parent or legal guardian has access to information concerning the nutritional content of:
(A) Food and beverages sold by or available from the school's food service department at breakfast and lunch and throughout the school day; and
(B) Competitive food sold or available anywhere on school district property on a recurring basis during the school day.
(II) The information described in subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) may be made available by placing the information on the school district website or printing the information on the menus sent home with students or by posting the information in a visible place in each school building.
(c) Every student has access to fresh fruits and vegetables at appropriate times during the school day. Whenever practical, school districts shall work to acquire fresh produce from Colorado sources.
(d) Every student has access to age-appropriate and culturally sensitive instruction designed to teach lifelong healthy eating habits and a healthy level of physical activity.
(e) Every student has access to a school facility with a sufficient number of functioning water fountains in accordance with local building codes, or other means which provide him or her with sufficient water.
(f) Every student has access to age-appropriate daily physical activity.
(4) Each school district board of education is encouraged to establish rules specifying the time and place at which competitive foods may be sold on school property in order to encourage the selection of healthful food choices by students.
(5) On or before July 1, 2006, each school district board of education is encouraged to adopt a local wellness policy as provided for in the federal "Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004", Public Law 108-265, which provides, in part, that, not later than the first day of the school year beginning after June 30, 2006, each school district participating in a program authorized by the "Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act", 42 U.S.C. 1751 et seq., or the Child Nutrition Act of 1966, 42 U.S.C. 1771 et seq., shall establish a local school wellness policy for schools under the local educational agency that, at a minimum:
(a) Includes goals for nutrition education, physical activity, and other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness in a manner that the school district determines is appropriate;
(b) Includes nutrition guidelines selected by the local school district for all foods available on each school campus during the school day with objectives of promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity and overweight and type 2 diabetes;
(c) Provides an assurance that guidelines for reimbursable school meals shall not be less restrictive than regulations and guidance issued by the secretary of agriculture pursuant to subsections (a) and (b) of section 10 of the Child Nutrition Act, 42 U.S.C. sec. 1779, and sections 9 (f)(1) and 17 (a) of the "Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act", 42 U.S.C. secs. 1758 (f)(1) and 1766 (a), as those regulations and guidance apply to schools;
(d) Establishes a plan for measuring implementation of the local wellness policy, including designation of one or more persons within the school district or at each school, as appropriate, charged with operational responsibility for ensuring that the school meets the local wellness policy; and
(e) Involves parents, representative of the school food authority, the school board and school administrators, and the public, in the development of the school wellness policy.
(5.5) On or before October 1, 2008, each school district board of education is encouraged to expand its local wellness policy adopted pursuant to subsection (5) of this section to include goals for:
(a) Increasing the availability of courses in physical education, including but not limited to, for a school district that enrolls more than one thousand five hundred students, establishing the goal of ensuring that all physical education classes offered by the school district are taught by persons who are licensed and endorsed pursuant to article 60.5 of this title to teach physical education;
(b) Increasing classes in health education;
(c) Providing health services;
(d) Providing nutrition services;
(e) Providing increased access to mental health counseling and services;
(f) Developing and maintaining a healthy school environment in each of the schools of the school district;
(g) Increasing the level of family and community involvement in developing and maintaining an emphasis on healthy lifestyles and choices to enable students to retain healthy behaviors throughout their lives.
(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit the sale or distribution of any food or beverage item through periodic fundraisers by a student, teacher, or school group when the item is for sale after completion of the school day.
Source: L. 2005: Entire section added, p. 225, 1, effective August 8. L. 2008: (3)(a)(II) amended, p. 642, 4, effective August 5; (5.5) added, p. 671, 1, effective August 5.
Cross references: For the legislative declaration contained in the 2008 act amending subsection (3)(a)(II), see section 1 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2008.