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GroceriesThe report summarizes enacted state legislation in two broad policy categories—healthy eating and physical activity, and healthy community design and access to healthy food. These are further divided into 16 topic areas. The first broad category focuses on nutrition and physical activity/physical education issues, primarily in schools. 





ClassroomChildhood obesity remains a pressing public health concern. One-third of American children are overweight or obese and national health care spending on obesity is nearing $150 billion a year. This report focuses on childhood obesity legislation enacted in 2012.





More than 35 percent of American adults are obese according to the most recent data reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in August 2012.  Obesity also affects 17 percent of U.S. children and adolescents – three times as many as a generation ago –putting them at risk for becoming obese adults.  Total annual U.S. obesity-related health care costs are estimated at $147 billion. Taxpayers fund about $60 billion of these costs through Medicare and Medicaid.  Recent research indicates that if obesity rates are reduced by as little as 5 percent, health care savings could exceed $29 billion. Childhood obesity also poses a national security challenge, as obesity has become one of the most common disqualifiers for military service. State legislatures continue to be active in considering policy options to prevent obesity; enable healthy, accessible food choices in accord with current dietary guidelines that recommend a plate half full of fruits and vegetables, and provide more opportunities for safe, enjoyable physical activity in schools, workplaces and communities.

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  • Reversing the Trend in Childhood Obesity

    Legislatures are increasingly interested in passing laws to promote healthy communities and reduce or prevent childhood obesity. Laws passed in 2010 are summarized in 17 topic areas.

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