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Obesity Rate in U.S. Still Climbing
Date:8/27/2007

es (six states enacted new laws in 2006-07).
  • Only 22 states have mandated nutritional standards for foods sold in vending machines, a la carte, in school stores or at bake sales, and only 26 states limit where and when such foods can be sold on school property beyond federal requirements.
  • Many physical education requirements in schools are limited in scope or not enforced.
  • This year's report also included a national opinion survey, which showed that 81 percent of Americans believe the government should play a role in addressing the obesity crisis, 55 percent of parents with children under 18 believed school lunches were not nutritious enough, and more than two-thirds of Americans believe children do not participate in enough physical activity.

    In addition, 60 percent of those polled favored a proposal to measure students' BMI annually and provide this information confidentially to parents or guardians (currently 16 states provide BMI or fitness status information to parents or guardians confidentially).

    The authors of the report also put forth recommendations for combating the problem.

    "There isn't going to be a magic pill or a magic bullet," Levi said. "We need action from government, from communities, from individuals, and we need a major cultural shift. We need to change the norms in our society about healthy eating and about physical activity."

    "This is going to require more than any single intervention," Marks added. "Schools have to be behind this, but it's also something that industry and business have to be behind."

    Specific recommendations included: developing, at the federal level, a National Strategy to Combat Obesity; ensuring that all Americans have access to a workplace wellness program; increasing research on promoting healthy choices; and providing more recreational places.

    "The only scorecard that matters is the health of our people, a
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