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Top Policy Groups Take Action to Create Healthy Communities, Prevent Childhood Obesity
Date:4/30/2009

ated fried foods, desserts, whole milk and fat-laden salad dressings from cafeteria menus. Gonzalez also opened up school facilities for community use during after-school hours.
  • In Columbia, Mayor Hindman's leadership in active transportation helped the city secure a $25 million federal grant. It has used the funding to develop a network of walking and biking trails that connect businesses and shopping centers to parks, schools and neighborhoods.
  • In San Francisco, Mayor Newsom supported an ordinance expanding farmers' markets in lower-income communities and requiring vendors to accept payment from federal, state and local food assistance programs. He also provided funding to 25 public schools for salad bars featuring locally grown produce and whole-grain breads.
  • In Hamilton County, Mayor Ramsey launched an initiative to make school facilities available to children and families outside of school hours. The county partnered with schools, restaurants and community groups to promote healthy menu selections and reasonable portion sizes using cartoon characters created by DC and Marvel Comics artists.

  • Today, nearly 33 percent of children and adolescents and about 65 percent of adults in the United States are overweight or obese. This health crisis disproportionately affects African Americans, Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives, as well as people living in lower-income communities, placing them at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other serious, chronic problems.

    Beyond the personal health toll, overweight and obesity put added pressure on an already overburdened health care system. Studies estimate that the obesity epidemic is costing the country more than $117 billion per year in direct medical expenses and indirect costs such as reduced productivity and absenteeism.

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    SOURCE Leadership for Healthy Communities
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