According to the Center for Disease Control 73 percent of adults and 43 percent of children in this country are overweight, obese, or severely obese. And in 2008, 32 states in America reported obesity rates of 25 percent or more.
The FIT Kids Act
With childhood obesity reaching epidemic proportions, I believe we need to do more to help our children leave healthy lifestyles. That is why I authored the FIT Kids Act, H.R. 1585, and am pleased to announce that it passed the House of Representatives in April 2010.
This bill is based on a simple concept: a healthy body makes a healthy mind. Kids do better academically when they are physically active during the school day. The FIT Kids Act will work to ensure kids are active during the school day and are taught to be personally responsible for their health. It combats childhood obesity by increasing awareness about the lack of opportunities for physical activity during the school day by requiring schools to make available to parents and the public the amount and type of physical education offered. The bill also provides important information to schools on best practices for offering quality physical education. In addition, the bill will help equip parents with essential information on healthy living and physical activity, so we can teach our kids how to live a healthy lifestyle at a young age.
With support from Richard Simmons, the American Heart Association, the National Education Association, the National Football League and a bipartisan group of 111 Members of Congress, I am confident that we can get quality physical education back in schools.
The Healthy CHOICES Act
Making the healthy choice the easy choice for our families is essential to ensuring our quality of life. That's why I authored, with support from a bipartisan group of my colleagues, the Healthy CHOICES Act, H.R. 5209, in May 2010. Easier access to the tools and education to prevent and treat obesity; affordable, nutritious food to promote a balanced diet; and an increased emphasis on physical activity to maintain our overall health is critical to achieving a healthy lifestyle.
The Healthy CHOICES Act is the first legislation of its kind that brings together industry, the public health community, and government to comprehensively fight the obesity epidemic. I realize that there isn't just one way to successfully fight obesity in this country. If we are going to really make the healthy choice the easy choices for everyone, we need to address this problem in a comprehensively. The Healthy CHOICES Act is the first bill of its kind to comprehensively fight obesity by increasing access to the tools and education to make healthy choices, updating nutrition guidelines for the child and adult care food program, increasing access to nutritional information and healthy, affordable foods in rural and low-income urban areas, improving access to and opportunity for physical activity for adults and children, and providing more opportunities to participate in outdoor physical activities, including as a means of transportation.