Legislation to Help Combat Youth Obesity Epidemic Likely

If you’re wondering whether the government plans to do anything about the alarming obesity and overweight problem in the U.S., lawmakers say that there will soon be legislation introduced into the U.S. Senate that intends to help combat the obesity trend in children and adolescents. The legislation could authorize billions in government spending to encourage more physical activity and better nutrition in schools.

Even with former Surgeon General Dr. David Coper reporting that obesity is causing 300,000 premature deaths in the U.S. and is costing the economy $120 billion annually, legislators seem to realize that the situation is apt to get worse before it improves.

The committee is preparing to introduce legislation that would authorize $40 million in federal spending next year to expand a federal program designed to help schools implement physical education and nutrition classes, Reuters Health reports. Another $40 million would be authorized for states and communities to build parks, bike paths and recreation centers, and to promote physical activities among residents. Some of the bill’s funds would also go to a nutrition and physical activity program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While some states are beginning to limit schools’ ability to make deals with soft drink makers and food manufacturers for exclusive marketing rights to students in exchange for money, it seems unlikely that the bill will restrict companies from pursuing these types of deals.