Today Rep. Mike Castle joined Governor Markell and Dr. Mehmet Oz in their effort to combat childhood obesity in America. Rep. Castle has made this issue a priority in Congress and as a Member of the House Education and Labor Committee.
Statement of Congressman Michael Castle:
"No group is more essential to target than children when it comes to prioritizing health and wellness, and schools play an important role in delivering this message. Reaching children as early as possible to promote health and healthy lifestyles will make a difference not only in children's health but in their health as they reach adulthood.
"HealthCorps, founded by Dr. Mehmet Oz, is a key initiative that is making a difference in the fight to combat childhood obesity. Empowering students and communities with the tools they need to live healthier lifestyles will play a key role in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic. I commend Nemours, a true champion for kids in our state, for helping McKean and Laurel High Schools implement HealthCorps in their schools.
"With the reauthorization of child nutrition legislation this year, I look forward to working with state and local school districts to further address the important and complex issue of childhood obesity by supporting programs that promote nutrition education and physical activity; implementing programs proven to improve health outcomes; and targeting those children who are at the greatest risk. Not only is childhood obesity likely to lead to overweight or obese adults, but children are increasingly suffering from health conditions traditionally associated with adulthood, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
"Childhood obesity has become a major health problem in the United States and data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that an estimated 17 percent of children and adolescents, ages 2 to 19 years, are overweight. In Delaware, approximately 37 percent of kids and youth are overweight or are at risk of becoming overweight. The number of overweight and obese young Americans has tripled in the last 30 years."
Congressman Mike Castle is the Senior Republican on the Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education of the Education and Labor Committee, and the Co-Chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus.