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CDC report illustrates Iowa successes

Shortcomings in report have already been addressed

May 9, 2011
FROM: Iowa Department of Health - A new CDC report illustrates the importance of public-private partnerships in fighting childhood obesity. The report indicates that communities, child care facilities and schools can all do more to support healthy eating choices. The 2011 Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report examined 2008 data to determine how individual states address childhood obesity factors. Indicators, such as the availability of sugar-sweetened drinks and the amount of ‘screen time’ (time spent in front of television, video and computer screens) at schools and child care centers, were evaluated.

 “The exciting news is that the areas where Iowa rated poorly using the 2008 data have already been addressed,” said Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) Director, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks. “If the report were based on current data, we would see a different picture.”

For instance, the 2008 data used in the CDC report found nearly 78 percent of Iowa middle and high schools offered sugar-sweetened drinks to students. The Iowa Healthy Kids Act, which was signed into law in 2008, banned the sale of sugar-sweetened beverages during the school day after July, 2010. As a result, the current percentage of schools offering sugar-sweetened drinks (during the school day) to students is actually zero.

The CDC report also found that in 2008, Iowa had no regulations regarding screen time for children in licensed child care settings. Currently, IDPH is working with the Department of Human Services to modify DHS rules for child care centers limiting the amount of screen time. In addition, IDPH has partnered with Healthy Child Care Iowa to provide training on limiting screen time to child care nurse consultants, who in turn have provided trainings to over 600 child care providers to date. IDPH is also partnering with the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program this summer to educate WIC parents about screen time and to encourage them to speak with their child care provider about their screen time policies. 

To see the complete CDC report, visit To learn more about e


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