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Obesity Rates Up in 37 States: Report
Date:8/19/2008

untry's response has been severely limited. For significant change to happen, combating obesity must become a national priority."

Among the report's other findings:

  • While all 50 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws related to physical education and/or physical activity in schools, only 13 states include language to enforce the laws. Of these states, only four have sanctions or penalties if the laws are not implemented.
  • While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans were updated in 2005, the U.S. Department of Agriculture school meal program has yet to adopt the recommendations.
  • Eighteen states have enacted laws requiring school meals to exceed USDA nutrition standards. But, only seven of these laws have specific enforcement provisions, and only two state laws include sanctions if its requirements aren't met.
  • Ten states do not include specific coverage for nutrition assessment and counseling for obese or overweight children in their Medicaid programs.
  • Twenty states explicitly do not cover nutritional assessment and consultation for obese adults under Medicaid.

The report offered a series of recommendations to combat the obesity epidemic, including investing in community-based disease-prevention programs that promote physical activity and good nutrition; improving the nutritional quality of foods available in schools and child-care programs; increasing the amount and quality of physical education and activity in schools and child-care programs; encouraging employers to provide workplace wellness programs; and requiring public and private insurers to provide preventive services, including nutrition counseling for children and adults.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about obesity.'/>"/>

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