This bill has been amended

Bill S2437A-2013

Directs schools to screen for childhood obesity as part of their health services

Authorizes the screening for childhood obesity by elementary and secondary schools; requires instruction in schools on good health practices.



  • Apr 30, 2014: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Apr 29, 2014: 1ST REPORT CAL.397
  • Feb 26, 2014: PRINT NUMBER 2437A




VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Education - Apr 29, 2014
Ayes (14): Flanagan, Farley, Lanza, Marcellino, Maziarz, Robach, Valesky, Avella, Latimer, Addabbo, Breslin, Montgomery, Stavisky, Peralta
Ayes W/R (3): LaValle, Ranzenhofer, Seward
Nays (2): Little, Tkaczyk



TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to screening for childhood obesity and instruction in good health and reducing the incidence of obesity

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The incidence of childhood obesity is a rapidly growing public health, social, and economic concern that is adversely affecting the overall health and well-being of our next generation of New Yorkers. In fact, acute and chronic adverse health conditions such as diabetes, chronic coronary conditions, and respiratory illnesses caused by obesity conditions is about to overtake those acute and chronic adverse health conditions caused by smoking tobacco.

This bill attempts to more fully integrate activities conducted by the Education Department to better educate students and parents on the important economic and health reasons for eating a balanced and nutritious diet. In addition to teaching such Subjects in Health class, the scientific reasons for the importance of having a balanced diet should be presented in science classes such as biology and chemistry. Further, the Department should more actively provide more opportunities for physical recreational activities to foster physical fitness and create an environment so that students are more capable to learn because they have "burned off" energy during recess.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Amends Education Law section 901 which relates to school health services to be provided. This section expands the types of services that may be provided by school health services to include examining students for the existence, in addition to diseases or disabilities, childhood obesity as defined pursuant to existing Education Law standards contained in section 904.

Section 2: Amends Education Law section 903 to add that school health exams may include a diabetes risk analysis if such child has risk for type 1 or type 2 diabetes, such as obesity, family history of type 2 diabetes, or other factors that heighten the risk of diabetes.

Section 3: Amends Education Law section 918 (4) and (5) which relates to the formation of school district nutrition advisory committees. Under this provision, such advisory committees can study and make recommendations on current nutritional policies of the school district to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity. Further, such advisory committees can make recommendations on educational information that can be provided to parents and guardians of students regarding healthy nutrition and health risks associated with asthma, chronic bronchitis, and other chronic respiratory diseases. Provided further, make recommendations to teachers and other staff as to the dangers of childhood obesity.

Section 4: Amends Education Law section 804-a which relates to the comprehensive School Health Education Demonstration Program. These demonstration programs can be established by individual schools for the development, implementation, evaluation, validation, and replication of exemplary comprehensive health education programs. This bill expands this demonstration program to include conveying knowledge to students on a host of social conditions to include in

addition to adolescent pregnancy, alcohol abuse, truancy, suicide, and substance abuse to also include obesity, asthma, or other chronic respiratory diseases.

Section 5: Amends Education Law section 813 to ensure that during a primary and secondary student's lunch period that ample time is devoted so that such student can consume his lunch and have time to engage in physical exercise or recreation.

Section 10: Effective Date.

JUSTIFICATION: The growing prevalence of overweight and obese children is a crisis that is facing the entire nation. Obesity related health care expenditures in New York are some of the highest in the nation. Further, contrary to the lower prevalence of obesity among adults, children in New York are more likely to be obese or overweight when compared to national trends. Obesity and overweight conditions in individuals are leading to higher incidences of life threatening conditions and substantial economic costs both to the State of New York for health care costs and to employers in lost work time and higher health care costs. Obesity in children tends to manifest itself more widely among poorer children and children whose parents have lower education levels.

The rising incidence of childhood obesity is a serious medical problem that continues to grow, especially among poorer and minority communities. Further, obesity is known to cause or exacerbate a number of serious chronic medical disorders including hypertension, dyslipidemia, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and respiratory dysfunction. Nearly 80% of patients with diabetes mellitus are obese, while nearly 70% of diagnosed cases of cardiovascular disease are related to obesity.

While the high prevalence of obesity and overweight conditions is an important public health concern when it affects adults. It should be of heightened concern that this adult affliction is now becoming more common among children. When obesity conditions afflict children this poses, significant quality of life detriments to such persons, reduces the productivity of such individuals over a longer time of their life, and hastens the onset of many chronic conditions that can hurt the quality of life of such persons and their families.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: Related to S.6423 of 2012 (Klein) that contains a more comprehensive expansion of obesity programs to combat obesity in adults and children. Same as S. 7113 of 2012

EFFECTIVE DATE: See relevant sections at the end of each Part of this bill.


STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 2437--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 17, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. KLEIN, DILAN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- recom- mitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to screening for child- hood obesity and instruction in good health and reducing the incidence of obesity THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 901 of the education law, as amended by chapter 477 of the laws of 2004, subdivision 1 as amended by section 57 of part A-1 of chapter 58 of the laws of 2006, is amended to read as follows: S 901. School health services to be provided. 1. School health services, as defined in subdivision two of this section, shall be provided by each school district for all students attending the public schools in this state, except in the city school district of the city of New York, as provided in this article. School health services shall include the services of a registered professional nurse, if one is employed, and shall also include such services as may be rendered as provided in this article in examining students for the existence of disease or disability, OR MAY INCLUDE SERVICES RELATED TO EXAMINING FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY BASED UPON THE CALCULATION OF EACH STUDENT'S BODY MASS INDEX AND WEIGHT STATUS CATEGORY PURSUANT TO SECTION NINE HUNDRED FOUR OF THIS ARTICLE, and in testing the eyes and ears of such students. 2. School health services for the purposes of this article shall mean the several procedures, including, but not limited to, medical examina- tions, dental inspection and/or screening, scoliosis screening, vision screening [and], audiometer tests, AND MAY INCLUDE CHILDHOOD OBESITY AS MEASURED BY BODY MASS INDEX AND WEIGHT STATUS CATEGORY, designed to determine the health status of the child; to inform parents or other
persons in parental relation to the child, pupils and teachers of the individual child's health condition subject to federal and state confi- dentiality laws; to guide parents, children and teachers in procedures for preventing and correcting defects [and], diseases AND CHILDHOOD OBESITY CONDITIONS; to instruct the school personnel in procedures to take in case of accident or illness; to survey and make necessary recom- mendations concerning the health and safety aspects of school facilities and the provision of health information. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 903 of the education law, as separately amended by section 11 of part B of chapter 58 and chapter 281 of the laws of 2007, is amended to read as follows: 1. A health certificate shall be furnished by each student in the public schools upon his or her entrance in such schools and upon his or her entry into the grades prescribed by the commissioner in regulations, provided that such regulations shall require such certificates at least twice during the elementary grades and twice in the secondary grades. An examination and health history of any child may be required by the local school authorities at any time in their discretion to promote the educa- tional interests of such child. Each certificate shall be signed by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized by law to practice in this state, and consistent with any applicable written practice agreement, or by a duly licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner, who is authorized to prac- tice in the jurisdiction in which the examination was given, provided that the commissioner has determined that such jurisdiction has stand- ards of licensure and practice comparable to those of New York. Each such certificate shall describe the condition of the student when the examination was made, which shall not be more than twelve months prior to the commencement of the school year in which the examination is required, and shall state whether such student is in a fit condition of health to permit his or her attendance at the public schools. THE EXAM- INATION MAY INCLUDE A DIABETES RISK ANALYSIS AND, IF NECESSARY, CHILDREN WITH RISK FACTORS FOR TYPE 1 DIABETES, OR RISK FACTORS ASSOCIATED WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES SUCH AS OBESITY, A FAMILY HISTORY OF TYPE 2 DIABETES, OR ANY OTHER FACTORS CONSISTENT WITH INCREASED RISK SHALL BE TESTED FOR DIABETES. Each such certificate shall also state the student's body mass index (BMI) and weight status category. For purposes of this section, BMI is computed as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters or the weight in pounds divided by the square of height in inches multiplied by a conversion factor of 703. Weight status cate- gories for children and adolescents shall be as defined by the commis- sioner of health. In all school districts such physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner shall determine whether a one-time test for sickle cell anemia is necessary or desirable and he or she shall conduct such a test and the certificate shall state the results. S 3. Subdivisions 4 and 5 of section 918 of the education law, as added by chapter 493 of the laws of 2004, are amended to read as follows: 4. The committee is encouraged to study AND MAKE RECOMMENDATIONS ON all facets of the current nutritional policies of the district includ- ing, but not limited to, the goals of the district to promote health and proper nutrition, REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY, vending machine sales, menu criteria, educational curriculum teaching healthy nutrition, AND educational information provided to parents or guardians regarding healthy nutrition and the health risks associated with obesi- ty, ASTHMA, CHRONIC BRONCHITIS AND OTHER CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASES.
PROVIDED, FURTHER, THE COMMITTEE MAY PROVIDE INFORMATION TO PERSONS IN PARENTAL RELATION ON opportunities offered to parents or guardians to encourage healthier eating habits to students, and the education provided to teachers and other staff as to the importance of healthy nutrition AND ABOUT THE DANGERS OF CHILDHOOD OBESITY. In addition the committee shall consider recommendations and practices of other districts and nutrition studies. 5. The committee is encouraged to report periodically to the district regarding practices that will educate teachers, parents or guardians and children about healthy nutrition and raise awareness of the dangers of CHILDHOOD obesity, ASTHMA, CHRONIC BRONCHITIS AND OTHER CHRONIC RESPIR- ATORY DISEASES. The committee is encouraged also to provide any parent teacher associations in the district with such findings and recommenda- tions. S 4. Subdivision 1 of section 804-a of the education law, as added by chapter 730 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows: 1. Within the amounts appropriated, the commissioner is hereby authorized to establish a demonstration program and to distribute state funds to local school districts, boards of cooperative educational services and in certain instances community school districts, for the development, implementation, evaluation, validation, demonstration and replication of exemplary comprehensive health education programs to assist the public schools in developing curricula, training staff, and addressing local health education needs of students, parents, and staff. SUCH PROGRAMS MAY SERVE THE PURPOSE OF DEVELOPING AND ENHANCING PUPILS' HEALTH KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIORS, WHICH IS FUNDAMENTAL TO IMPROVING THEIR HEALTH STATUS AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE, AS WELL AS REDUCING THE INCIDENCE OF ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY, ALCOHOL ABUSE, TOBACCO ABUSE, TRUANCY, SUICIDE, SUBSTANCE ABUSE, OBESITY, ASTHMA, OTHER CHRONIC RESPIRATORY DISEASES, AND OTHER PROBLEMS OF CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE. S 5. Section 813 of the education law, as added by chapter 296 of the laws of 1994, is amended to read as follows: S 813. School lunch period; scheduling. Each school shall schedule a reasonable time DURING EACH SCHOOL DAY for each full day pupil attending pre-kindergarten through grade twelve WITH AMPLE TIME to consume lunch AND TO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE OR RECREATION. S 6. This act shall take effect immediately, except that sections one, two and three of this act shall take effect two years after this act shall have become a law.


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