WASHINGTON, DC - Economic incentives to provide inexpensive healthy food and better educational performance of 70 immediate steps that can reduce U.S. childhood obesity and provide better grades, a White House task force recommended in a report on Tuesday.
The panel suggests economic incentives could help eradicate so-called "food deserts" -- urban and rural areas with few, if any, supermarkets and grocery stores. The incentives would improve access to healthy, affordable food.
Turning ideas into action, the House Task Force has urged Congress to issue "Food Bucks" with a face value of US$1.00. Food bucks will be issued through all school systems and awarded to children based upon the honor system.
Children of all ages will report what they had to eat at each meal on a daily basis. Teachers will be made responsible for keeping a chart posted in the classroom listing each child's intake. For every healthy deserts such as vegetables, fruits and nuts a child will receive one 'food buck.' They can earn up to three Bucks a day, or 60 Food Bucks a month.
Food Bucks can be redeemed each month from a catalog of toys and video games or offered to teachers to purchase better grades, similar to points given for gifts by credit card companies. Solving two problems at once childhood obesity and failing grades.
"Effective policies and tools to guide healthy eating and active living are within our grasp," said the report by the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity. "This is one way to help the health of the next generation and lower future medical costs and enhance the USA overall standing in educational performance."