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Sacramento State News - California State University, Sacramento

January 10, 2007

Essay contest for high school juniors, seniors on
“Teens and Junk Food”

High school students will have a chance to sound off on one of the country’s most talked about issues regarding teens and health in a statewide essay contest sponsored by the LegiSchool Project, a civic education collaborative between Sacramento State’s Center for California Studies and the California Legislature.

The “Teens and Junk Food” essay contest is open to high school juniors and seniors. Ten students will be selected to travel to Sacramento to take part in a day-long student legislative summit at the State Capitol on Thursday, April 19. Participants will engage state leaders during a student-run press conference, tour and lunch at the Capitol, visit the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts and attend a roundtable meeting with the Capitol Press Corps and legislative staff.

Prompted by statistics showing a significant increase in the prevalence of teen obesity between 1999 and 2004 and health related problems due to teen obesity on the rise, lawmakers are responding by addressing the issue of teen eating habits at school. Recently enacted legislation, which will be phased in beginning July 1, 2007, calls for a ban on soda sold during the school day, restricts the sale of food with a high percentage of fats and sugars, and requires the Department of Health Services to develop a program which makes fruits and vegetables available to students free of charge.

For the essay contest, students should address the following questions: What is your position on the current nutrition-related bills – SB 965, SB 12 and SB 281? Do you support them, or do you feel that the legislature is “micro-managing” teen eating habits? Do you feel limits on junk food in school will improve your overall eating habits, even outside of school? What are your ideas for improving healthy eating habits among teens? Using your knowledge of state government, are these ideas viable for the legislative or executive branches of state government to address?

Essays must be typed, double-spaced, 750 words or less and include the student’s name, home address, phone number, e-mail, name of high school and teacher who announced the contest. Entries must be postmarked by Jan. 26 and submitted to: CSUS, Center for California Studies, LegiSchool Essay Contest, 6000 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95819-6081.

For more information, please visit or call (916)278-6909.

For media assistance, contact the Sacramento State Public Affairs office at (916) 278-6156.



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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 •