The December issue looks at the work states face to deal with the health care needs of an aging population and new approaches to teacher evaluations.
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The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has witnessed increasing interest among state legislatures in policies designed to reduce and prevent childhood obesity as demonstrated through enactment of legislation. In an earlier report, Promoting Healthy Communities and Preventing Childhood Obesity: Trends in Recent Legislation,1 NCSL found similar trends when studying enacted legislation in 16 topic areas during the 2009 legislative sessions. This report focuses on enacted legislation in 2010.
The 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 17 topic areas.
The first broad category focuses on nutrition and physical activity/physical education issues, primarily in schools. It is divided into nine topics:
The second broad category—healthy community design and access to healthy food—deals with changes in the built environment, including land use, transportation and agricultural topics, that can create more walkable/bikeable communities and increase access to healthy food through changes in infrastructure and procurement policies. It is comprised of eight issue areas:
The report is organized in such a way that some bills may fall into more than one category; for example, school nutrition and nutrition education. The bill summary will appear in each relevant category, with the summary tailored to address the specific provisions appropriate to that category. Proposed legislation that has not been enacted may also be referenced in the narrative description of each category to illustrate trends in legislation that may serve as precursors to laws enacted in subsequent sessions. In these cases, the bills are not summarized.
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