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LAS VEGAS, June 30, 2009 – U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services Dr. Janey Thornton, Ph.D, SNS will address the School Nutrition Association’s 63th Annual National Conference in Las Vegas, Nev. Dr. Thornton will speak during the conference’s 2nd General Session today, June 30, 2009.
In her position as Deputy Under Secretary, Dr. Thornton is responsible for providing policy direction to the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP). The National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program are among the federal programs she oversees.
In her remarks, Dr. Thornton discussed the Obama Administration’s efforts to reduce childhood overweight and obesity. She noted that the USDA is taking numerous steps to encourage families to lead healthier lifestyles by encouraging people to make smart food choices, eat more fruits and vegetables, control portion sizes, and increase physical activity. Ultimately, it’s parents and children that must take responsibility for themselves.
“We need to empower parents and challenge kids to take personal responsibility for their actions… As role models, each of us needs to set the example of making healthier food choices and participating in daily physical activity for our children to emulate,” Dr. Thornton remarked.
Nutritious, healthy school meals are one solution in helping families eat healthier and teaching children valuable health lessons. “The school meal program is instrumental in teaching kids how to eat… As we all know, lifelong nutrition and physical activity habits are formed in childhood. Helping children develop these values through the school meals programs is an investment in our future,” said Dr. Thornton.
Dr. Thornton was appointed Deputy Undersecretary in April 2009. For over 25 years, Dr. Thornton was the school nutrition director for the Hardin County School District in Elizabethtown, Ky. She served as the President of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) from 2006-2007. Dr. Thornton has also served as the President of the School Nutrition Foundation and was a founding member of the Global Child Nutrition Foundation Board of Directors.
The SNA Annual National Conference, June 29 – July 2, 2009, featured over 5,500 school nutrition professionals and school foodservice industry members participating in over 80 education sessions, the school nutrition industry’s largest exhibit hall and guest speakers including best selling author Jeannette Walls.
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