The Minnesota Health Care Reform Task Force is looking at ways to promote better health care, lower health care costs and healthier communities in their Roadmap to a Healthier Minnesota. We have a suggestion – better nutrition education is an investment in lower health care costs in the long run. Actually the report is focused on improvement over the next decade and they get into the nitty gritty details of health care costs – but we were pleased to see that our suggestion (made after the report came out!) was not ignored.
The Task Force suggests the following…
Strategy Element #18: Evaluate and perform gap analysis on school health reforms. The Departments of Education, Health, and Human Services shall convene a multi-agency body to evaluate the impact of recent school and health reforms (including, but not limited to the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010 and the Affordable Care Act of 2010) on student health and K-12 school wellness policies. Nutrition education and the physical activity opportunities of K-12 students shall be a part of this evaluation which will be utilized by the multi-agency body to develop a gap analysis to guide future state policy development.
We are excited that nutrition education and the physical activity are part of the equation being studied. We will eagerly await the full report. We may already have some ideas on the impact, but we look forward to seeing it quantified in our home state and will enjoy seeing how nutrition education will have an impact on future state policy development.