Limits on TV, ban on fried foods proposed for child-care programs

Denise Sidney, of Sidney Family Day Care in Hesperia, reads to Ariana Sanchez, 5, left, Mya Mesa, 5, center right, and Nicklaus Gomez, 7.
(David Pardo / Associated Press)

SACRAMENTO -- Many child-care programs would be prohibited from providing children under 2 with any time in front of a television set or computer screen, and older children would be limited to an hour a day under state legislation aimed at reducing childhood obesity.

The bill introduced by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) would also require the after-school and child-care programs to provide fruits and vegetables at every meal. It would prohibit the programs from serving fried foods and beverages with added sugars.


“Childhood obesity is a challenge we should be tackling on a number of fronts,” Jackson said in a statement. “This bill will help ensure that after-school and child-care programs are working in partnership with parents to make their children’s health a top priority.’’

SB 464 would also require an hour of physical activity for some programs with full-day schedules.

Jackson said her proposal would apply to child-care and after-school programs that receive state and federal funding under the California Department of Education.

If approved, the rules could apply to as many as 450,000 students in after-school programs and as many as 270,000 children in child-care programs, the senator estimated.


Her office released a statement of support for the restrictions from Cathy Barankin, public policy director for the California State Alliance of YMCAs. “This is an extremely important proposal that will assist California’s children in becoming healthy and staying healthy,” Barankin said.



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