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  1. News Release

  2. Jun 22, 2022

Physicians Applaud California’s Senate Education Committee for Advancing Bill Promoting Nutritious Plant-Based School Meals

The Child Nutrition Act of 2022 Passed the California Assembly in January 2022

SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a nonprofit with more than 12,000 members in California, is praising the state’s Senate Education Committee for advancing AB 558, the Child Nutrition Act of 2022, today. The bill will now advance for wider consideration by the California Senate. Co-sponsored by the Physicians Committee and passed by the California State Assembly in January, the bill incentivizes K-12 public schools across the state to offer healthier, climate-friendly plant-based meals and beverages.

“This bill will invest in the health of California’s children today and dramatically reduce health care costs well into the future,” Dr. Anna Herby, nutrition education program manager for the Physicians Committee, testified this morning.

If signed into law, California will join Illinois—which passed legislation earlier this year—in advancing measures to expand the availability of healthful plant-based meals for students.

Children are experiencing the effects of unhealthy eating that used to be reserved for adults—obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes. These conditions can benefit greatly from reducing meat and dairy consumption and increasing the amount of plant-based foods they eat.

“In my work as an outpatient dietitian, I’ve received many referrals for children struggling with obesity or prediabetes,” Dr. Herby says. “Often, these children rely on school meals for breakfast and lunch, and I can clearly see how the foods they are provided are making their health problems worse.”

California Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (D-46) authored the Child Nutrition Act of 2022.

Besides AB 558, the Physicians Committee advocates to expand access to plant-based school meals across the country, including working to pass New York bill A.301 / S.1726, which would give every student in New York public schools options for healthy plant-based foods.

“Many children want to make healthy choices, and if they are provided with the meals to do so, we may see a reduction in chronic diseases and healthcare costs as they grow into adults,” Dr. Herby says. “Children in California need the nutritious plant-based meals that this legislation will provide. I urge the California Senate to swiftly pass this bill and send it to Governor Newsom’s desk.”

The Physicians Committee has quantity plant-based recipes and other resources for students, parents, and schools at

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Michael Keevican



Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in education and research.

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