2008 F as in Fat: HOW OBESITY POLICIES ARE

2008 F as in Fat: HOW OBESITY POLICIES ARE
ISSUE REPORT
F as in Fat:
2008
HOW OBESITY
POLICIES ARE
FAILING IN AMERICA
AUGUST 2008
PREVENTING EPIDEMICS.
PROTECTING PEOPLE.
TRUST FOR AMERICA’S HEALTH IS A NON-PROFIT, NON-PARTISAN ORGANIZATION DEDICATED TO SAVING
LIVES BY PROTECTING THE HEALTH OF EVERY COMMUNITY AND WORKING TO MAKE DISEASE PREVENTION
A NATIONAL PRIORITY.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the
nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation
works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and
timely change. For more than 35 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced
approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. Helping Americans lead healthier lives
and get the care they need-the Foundation expects to make a difference in our lifetime.
For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.
TFAH BOARD OF DIRECTORS
REPORT AUTHORS
Lowell Weicker, Jr.
President
Former 3-term U.S. Senator and Governor of Connecticut
Jeffrey Levi, PhD.
Executive Director
Trust for America’s Health
and
Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy
The George Washington University School of Public
Health and Health Services
Cynthia M. Harris, PhD, DABT
Vice President
Director and Associate Professor
Institute of Public Health, Florida A & M University
Margaret A. Hamburg, MD
Secretary
Senior Scientist
Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)
Patricia Baumann, MS, JD
Treasurer
President and CEO
Bauman Foundation
Gail Christopher, DN
Vice President for Health
WK Kellogg Foundation
John W. Everets
David Fleming, MD
Director of Public Health
Seattle King County, Washington
Robert T. Harris, MD
Former Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President for Healthcare
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina
Alonzo Plough, MA, MPH, PhD
Vice President of Program, Planning and Evaluation
The California Endowment
Theodore Spencer
Project Manager
Natural Resources Defense Council
Serena Vinter, MHS
Lead Author and Senior Research Associate
Trust for America’s Health
Rebecca St. Laurent, JD
Health Policy Research Assistant
Trust for America’s Health
Laura M. Segal, MA
Director of Public Affairs
Trust for America’s Health
PEER REVIEWERS
TFAH thanks the reviewers for their time, expertise, and insights.
The opinions expressed in this report do not necessarily represent
the views of these individuals or their organizations.
Marcus Plescia, M.D.
Chief, Chronic Disease and Injury Section
North Carolina Division of Public Health
David P. Hoffman, M.Ed.
Director, Bureau of Chronic Disease Services
New York State Department of Health
Michael Eriksen, Sc.D.
Director and Professor
Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5
SECTION 1: Obesity Rates and Related Trends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
A. Adult Obesity and Overweight Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
B. Childhood and Youth Obesity and Overweight Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14
C. Physical Inactivity in Adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
D. Diabetes and Hypertension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
E. Obesity and Poverty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
SECTION 2: Fast Facts About Obesity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
A. What’s Behind the Obesity Epidemic? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .23
B. Obesity’s Impact on Health . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
C. Obesity and Physical Inactivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
D. Weight Bias and Quality of Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29
E. Nutrition: The Other Side of the Energy Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
F. Economic Costs of Obesity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
G. The High Price of Food . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
SECTION 3: State Responsibilities and Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
A. State Obesity Plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
B. Survey of Chronic Disease Directors and Directors of
Health Promotion and Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
C. State Obesity-Related Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
D. Qualitative Evaluation of State Obesity-Related Legislation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56
SECTION 4: Federal Responsibilities and Policies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
A. Overhaul of the WIC Food Packages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .71
B. 2008 Farm Bill . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .72
C. Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Act . . . . . . . . . .74
D. Reauthorization of No Child Left Behind . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .76
E. Reauthorization of the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Act . .76
F. Reauthorization of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation
Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
G. Other Obesity Related Legislation Before Congress . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .77
H. Funding For CDC Obesity Grants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .80
SECTION 5: A National Strategy to Combat Obesity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .83
A. Federal Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .86
B. State Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
C. Local Government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .95
D. Community and Faith-Based Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99
E. Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .100
F. Families and Individuals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
G. Employers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
H. Insurance Companies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
I. Food and Beverage Industries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .107
J. Agribusiness and Farmers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
K. Role for Increased Research and Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
L. Special Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .111
Appendix A: Methodology for Obesity and Other Rates Using BRFSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .116
Appendix B: Methodology for State Obesity Plan Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118
Appendix C: Overview of Federal Programs That Impact Obesity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .119
References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .128
3
Introduction
O
besity is one of the most serious health problems in the United
States today. Adult obesity rates have doubled since 1980, from 15
percent to 30 percent.1 Two-thirds of adults are now either overweight or
obese.2 Childhood obesity rates have nearly tripled since 1980, from 6.5 percent to 16.3 percent.3,4 Additionally, the obesity epidemic is taking a toll on
the U.S. economy by adding billions of additional dollars in health care costs
and hurting our country’s ability to compete in the global economy. It is
clear that obesity is impacting the entire country.
Rising obesity rates have significant health
consequences:
Adult rates for type 2 diabetes have grown
from 5.2 percent in 1980 to more than 8
percent now.5 Approximately 20 million
Americans have type 2 diabetes, and
another 54 million more have pre-diabetes, putting them at high risk for developing diabetes.6
After years of declines in heart disease
and hypertension due to the development of new medical treatments and
drugs, these health problems are experiencing a resurgence. One in 4 Americans
has some form of heart disease, and one
in 3 Americans has high blood pressure.7
Obesity and overweight are contributing
factors to over 20 chronic diseases, including some cancers, arthritis, and even
Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.8, 9, 10
Increasing evidence shows that maternal
obesity adds major complications during
pregnancy, putting babies at increased risk
for pre-term birth and infant mortality.11
Obese children and teenagers are developing diseases that were formerly only
seen in adults. For instance, approximately 176,500 individuals under the age
of 20 have type 2 diabetes, and 2 million
adolescents aged 12-19 have pre-diabetes.12 Obese and overweight children
are more likely to become overweight
and obese adults and are on a track for
poor health throughout their adult
lives.13,14,15 Overall, this generation of children could be the first to have shorter,
less healthy lives than their parents.
“The report shows the serious
Obesity also has created a major strain on
the health care system. More than a quarter
of the nation’s health care costs are related
to obesity and physical inactivity. Direct
health care costs of obesity are estimated to
be more than $61 billion annually in the
United States, while the health care costs
associated with physical inactivity topped
$76 billion in 2000.16 Our workforce has
become less healthy and productive, and
businesses are struggling with the increased
costs of health insurance coverage.
advance innovative
impact that the obesity crisis
is having on our country’s
health and economic
well-being,” said former
President Bill Clinton, who
co-leads the Alliance for a
Healthier Generation, a
partnership between the
William J. Clinton Foundation
and the American Heart
Association that works to
approaches combating
childhood obesity and helping
children live healthier lives.
“We need to continue to
work to create a real push
towards reversing the obesity
epidemic. It is time we make
it a national priority,”
President Clinton added.
5
F AS IN FAT 2008
This is the fifth annual edition of F as in Fat:
How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America,
which tracks trends in obesity-related rates
and policies. This report finds that much
progress has been made during the past 5
years in bringing attention to the obesity
problem and in better understanding the
reasons for the rise in obesity rates. In addition, many communities and states have
been taking action with promising programs
to make physical activity and good nutrition
more accessible to more Americans.
However, this report also concludes that
until these promising programs are widely
adopted and there is a steady stream of
funding to sustain them, only limited
progress will be made. Overall, our country
is failing to address the obesity epidemic in
proportion to the threat that it poses.
America’s future depends on the health of
our children, but we’re failing them by not
treating the obesity epidemic with the
urgency it deserves.
In the past year, there has been one reason
for cautious optimism. According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention’s National Health
and Nutrition Examination Survey
(NHANES), after years of increases, childhood and adolescent obesity rates remained
level between 2003-2004 and 2005-2006.17 It
is too early to determine if this is a result of
obesity-prevention programs, but it does
provide encouragement.
The trends for adults continue to be even
more complicated. This year’s F as in Fat:
How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America
analysis finds that adult obesity rates climbed
in 37 states. Rates did not decline in any
6
state. Experts estimate that if we keep on the
current course, 75 percent of Americans will
be overweight or obese by 2015.18
Many experts believe that America has been
slow to take action to deal with obesity
because it has traditionally been seen as an
issue of personal responsibility. In this view
individuals make decisions about what to eat
and how active to be, and they should bear
the burden and blame alone if they make
unhealthy choices.
But it is clear now that, while personal
responsibility is an important part of the
equation, there are many factors beyond
individual control that have contributed to
the rising obesity rates. Some of the most
significant factors include the high cost of
healthy foods, the location of grocery stores,
access to safe places to exercise, and the
availability of preventive health care services. We need to find ways to make healthy
choices easy choices. And just as smoking
has become less culturally acceptable, we
need to shift cultural norms away from
unhealthy values like oversized portions, the
popularization of foods with minimum
nutritional quality, and the overuse of TV
and video games, which encourage physical
inactivity.
Addressing the obesity crisis must be a
shared responsibility. This report concludes
with a recommendation to create a
Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat O bes it y that
will involve individuals and families, communities, schools, employers, businesses,
insurers, and government to find ways to
address the epidemic. This strategy sets
national goals, starting with a goal of reversing the trend of childhood obesity by 2015.
F AS IN FAT 2008: KEY FINDINGS
Obesity Rates and Related Trends
Adult obesity rates continued to rise in 37
states. Rates did not decrease in any state.
Rates rose for a second year in a row in 24
states, and rose for a third year in a row in
19 states. Mississippi had the highest rate
-- 31.7 percent, Colorado had the lowest
rate --18.4 percent.
More than 20 percent of adults are obese
in every state except Colorado. However,
the rate in Colorado did increase from
17.6 to 18.4 percent. More than 25 percent of adults are obese in 28 states. Last
year, only 19 states had rates above 25
percent. And, rates now exceed 30 percent in 3 states -- Alabama, Mississippi, and
West Virginia. Last year, only Mississippi
exceeded 30 percent. In 1991, no state
had an obesity rate higher than 20 percent. In 1980, the national average of
obese adults was 15 percent.
Obesity and obesity-related disease rates
remain the highest in Southern states.
Nine of the top 10 most obese states
were in the South. In addition, all 10
states with the highest rates of diabetes
and hypertension, 9 of the 10 states with
the highest rates of physical inactivity, and
8 of the 10 states with the highest rates of
poverty are in the South. Northeastern
and Western states continued to have the
lowest obesity rates.
Type 2 diabetes rates rose in 26 states. In
4 states, more than 10 percent of adults
now have type 2 diabetes.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), an estimated 50 million Americans go on diets each year, but
fewer than 5 percent manage to maintain
any long-term weight loss.19
State Responsibilities and Policies
Currently, 40 states have plans in place
with specific strategies and goals to lower
the prevalence of overweight, obesity and
obesity-related chronic diseases in each
state. Two states and D.C. have childhood obesity plans, and at least 8 more
have drafts of plans in the works, which
they expect to make available to the public
over the next year or 2.
All 50 states and D.C. have some form of legislation related to physical education and/or
physical activity in schools, however only 13
states were found to have enforceability language. Of those states, 4 included sanctions
or penalties within their language, and 10
included collection and reporting of information regarding performance language, with
one state containing both types of language.
Of the 18 states that have school meal
requirements exceeding the USDA standards, only 7 have specific enforceability
language, with only one including sanctions
or penalties for noncompliance.
Ten states did not address nutritional assessment and counseling reimbursement for
children with overweight and obesity as
part of Medicaid’s Early and Periodic
Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment
(EPSDT) benefits. In these 10 states, neither did the EPSDT provider manual specifically mention whether Medicaid would pay
for these services nor were Current
Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes listed
to bill for these services.20 In these states, it
only can be assumed that these services are
not likely to be reimbursed.
Only 11 states provide strong evidence that
they will reimburse for nutritional and behavioral therapy in children with overweight and
obesity as part of Medicaid’s Early and
Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment
(EPSDT) benefits, meaning the EPSDT
provider manual specifies that the state will
pay for nutritional assessment and counseling
and Current Procedural Terminology (CPT)
codes are listed to bill for these services.
7
F AS IN FAT 2008: KEY FINDINGS
Only 2 states’ Medicaid manuals provided
guideline references for treatment of obesity in adults.
the small group market. The majority used
“health status” as an adjustment factor.
Only 9 states prohibit the use of health
status or obesity as a factor for rate
adjustments in the small group market.
These states used community or
adjusted community rating.
Twenty-six states explicitly cover nutritional
assessment and consultation for obese adults
under Medicaid, while 20 explicitly do not.
Drug therapy to treat obesity is the
least frequently covered and discussed
treatment category in Medicaid; only 10
states cover it while 33 make no mention of it within their provider manuals.
Bariatric surgery is covered by 45 state
Medicaid plans.
On the group insurance market, 35 states
expressly allow “health status” or “obesity”
to be used as a factor for rate adjustments in
Only 5 states provide for coverage of
one or more treatments for obesity in
both the small group and individual
insurance markets. The vast majority of
states do not provide any coverage of
obesity related treatments and the few
that do cover only those treatments for
morbid obesity do so as long as individuals adhere to the caveats imposed in the
coverage requirement.
Obesity Related Laws
Number of
States That
Had This
Law as of
June 30, 2008
Number of
States That
Added This
Law Since
July 1, 2007
Number of
States That
Had This
Law in
July 2004
Sets nutritional standards for school lunches,
breakfasts, and snacks that are stricter than
the existing USDA requirements.
18
1
2
Sets nutritional standards for competitive foods
sold a la carte, in vending machines, in school
stores, or in bake sales in schools.
25
3
4
Sets limits when and where competitive foods
may be sold beyond federal requirements.
27
1
23
Sets physical education requirements.
50 + D.C.
0
50 + D.C.
BMI or health information collected.
17
1
0
Sets health education requirements.
48
0
44
Taxes some foods or soft drinks that are of low
nutritional value.
17 + D.C.
0
17 + D.C.
Limits obesity-related liability.
24
0
11
Federal Responsibilities and Policies
The U.S. Department of Agriculture
(USDA) school meal program has yet to
adopt the recommendations from the
national 2005 Dietary Guidelines. An estimated 39 million children receive meals
through USDA school meal programs,
often multiple meals (breakfast, lunch, and
possibly a snack) on weekdays.
In the past year, USDA made significant
changes to the Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
8
Children (WIC), adding fruits, vegetables,
and whole grains to the list of grocery
items covered. This was the program’s
first major overhaul since 1974.
The House and Senate overrode President
Bush’s veto to pass into law the Food,
Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008. This
legislation reauthorizes farm and nutrition
programs for the next 5 years. It includes
an additional $10.36 billion over current
spending levels for nutrition programs.
Obesity Rates and
Related Trends
T
wo-thirds of American adults are either overweight or obese.21 Adult
1
SECTION
obesity rates have grown from 15 percent in 1980 to nearly 33 percent
in 2003-04 based on a national survey.22
OBESITY TRENDS * AMONG U.S. ADULTS
BRFSS, 1991 and 2005-2007 Combined Data
(*BMI >30, or about 30 lbs overweight for 5’ 4” person)
*Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, CDC.
A. ADULT OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT RATES
Rates of obesity continued to rise across the
country during the past year. Thirty-seven
states saw an increase in obesity, and 24 of
these states experienced an increase for the
second year in a row. Nineteen states experienced an increase for the third straight year.
Obesity rates did not decrease in a single state.
Last year Mississippi was the only state with
obesity rates over 30 percent, but this year
Mississippi, still ranked most obese at 31.7
percent, has been joined by West Virginia
and Alabama -- 30.6 percent and 30.1 percent
respectively. Mississippi also has the highest
rate of physical inactivity and hypertension,
and tied for the second highest rate of dia-
betes. Alabama and West Virginia also
ranked in the top 10 for highest rates of physical inactivity, hypertension and diabetes.
Now, only 22 states have rates of obesity less
than 25 percent, compared with 31 from last
year -- losing 9 states to the 25-percent-orgreater category. In Colorado, the leanest and
only state under 20 percent, rates of obesity
increased from 17.6 percent to 18.4 percent.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) set a national goal to reduce
adult obesity rates to 15 percent in every state
by the year 2010. Currently, all states and the
District of Columbia exceed 15 percent.
9
CHART ON OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT RATES
Obesity
States
2005-2007 3 Yr.
Ranking
Ave. Percentage
(95% Conf Interval)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
30.1% (+/- 1.2)
27.3% (+/- 1.5)
23.3% (+/- 1.5)*
28.1% (+/- 0.9)*
23.1% (+/- 0.9)
18.4% (+/- 0.7)*
20.8% (+/- 0.8)*
25.9% (+/- 1.2)*
22.1% (+/- 1.0)
23.3% (+/- 0.7)
27.5% (+/- 1.2)*
20.7% (+/- 0.8)
24.6% (+/- 0.9)*
25.3% (+/- 0.9)*
27.5% (+/- 0.9)
26.3% (+/- 0.9)*
25.8% (+/- 0.7)*
28.4% (+/- 1.0)*
29.5% (+/- 1.0)*
23.7% (+/- 0.9)
25.2% (+/- 0.8)*
20.9% (+/- 0.6)*
27.7% (+/- 0.8)*
24.8% (+/- 1.0)*
31.7% (+/- 1.0)*
27.4% (+/- 1.1)*
21.7% (+/- 0.8)*
26.5% (+/- 0.9)*
23.6% (+/- 1.3)
23.6% (+/- 0.8)*
22.9% (+/- 0.7)*
23.3% (+/- 0.9)*
23.5% (+/- 0.8)*
27.1% (+/- 0.6)*
25.9% (+/- 1.0)
26.9% (+/- 1.1)
28.1% (+/-0.8)*
25.0% (+/- 0.8)*
25.7% (+/- 0.8)*
21.4% (+/- 1.0)*
29.2% (+/- 0.8)*
26.1% (+/- 0.9)*
29.0% (+/- 1.2)*
27.2% (+/- 0.9)*
21.8% (+/- 0.9)
21.1% (+/- 0.7)*
25.2% (+/- 1.1)
24.5% (+/- 0.5)*
30.6% (+/- 1.1)*
25.5% (+/- 1.0)
24.0% (+/- 0.8)*
3
14
38
8
41
51
49
21
43
38
11
50
31
26
11
19
23
7
4
34
27
48
10
30
1
13
45
18
35
35
42
38
37
16
21
17
8
29
24
46
5
20
6
15
44
47
27
32
2
25
33
Overweight
& Obesity
Percentage
Point Change
2004-2006 to
2005-2007
0.7
1.5
1.6*
1.1*
0.4
0.8**
0.7***
2.4***
-0.1
0.4
1.3*
0.5
1.4*
0.9*
0.6
1.4*
1.5**
1.0***
1.3*
0.6
0.8***
1.1***
0.9**
1.1*
1.1***
1.1***
1.0*
1.1***
1.2
1.2***
0.7***
1.2***
1.2*
1.5***
0.8
0.9
1.3***
1.7***
1.2*
0.9***
1.3***
1.2***
1.2**
0.9*
0.7
1.1*
0.7
1.2***
0.9**
0.7
1.2***
2005-2007
3 Yr. Ave.
Percentage
(95% Conf Interval)
65.4% (+/- 1.3)
64.5% (+/- 1.7)
59.5% (+/- 1.7)*
64.7% (+/- 1.0)*
59.4% (+/- 1.0)
55.0% (+/- 0.9)*
58.7% (+/- 1.0)*
63.9% (+/- 1.3)*
55.0% (+/- 1.3)
60.8% (+/- 0.8)*
63.3% (+/- 1.0)*
55.3% (+/- 1.0)*
61.4% (+/- 1.1)*
61.8% (+/- 1.1)*
62.8% (+/- 1.0)
63.4% (+/- 1.0)*
62.3% (+/- 0.8)*
66.8% (+/- 1.1)*
64.2% (+/- 1.1)*
60.8% (+/- 1.1)
61.5% (+/- 0.9)*
56.8% (+/- 0.8)*
63.9% (+/- 0.9)*
61.9% (+/- 1.2)
67.4% (+/- 1.0)*
63.3% (+/- 1.3)
59.6% (+/- 1.1)*
63.9% (+/- 1.1)*
61.8% (+/- 1.5)
60.8% (+/- 1.0)*
60.5% (+/- 0.9)*
60.3% (+/- 1.0)*
60.0% (+/- 1.0)*
63.4% (+/- 0.7)*
64.5% (+/- 1.1)
63.3% (+/- 1.2)
64.2% (+/- 0.9)*
60.8% (+/- 1.0)*
61.9% (+/- 1.0)
60.4% (+/- 1.2)*
65.1% (+/- 0.8)*
64.2% (+/- 1.0)*
65.0% (+/- 1.3)*
64.1% (+/- 1.0)*
56.4% (+/- 1.2)
56.9% (+/- 0.9)*
61.6% (+/- 1.3)
60.7% (+/- 0.6)*
66.8% (+/- 1.1)*
62.4% (+/- 1.1)
61.7% (+/- 1.0)*
ADULTS
Physical Inactivity
Diabetes
2005-2007
3 Yr. Ave.
Percentage
(95% Conf Interval)
10.0% (+/- 0.6)*
5.5% (+/- 0.7)*
8.1% (+/- 0.8)**
8.5% (+/- 0.5)*
7.6% (+/- 0.5)
5.1% (+/- 0.3)*
6.8% (+/- 0.4)*
8.4% (+/- 0.6)*
7.7% (+/- 0.6)
8.7% (+/- 0.4)
9.2% (+/- 0.5)**
7.7% (+/- 0.5)
7.2% (+/- 0.5)*
8.3% (+/- 0.5)*
8.3% (+/- 0.5)
7.0% (+/- 0.5)
7.2% (+/- 0.4)**
9.6% (+/- 0.6)**
9.5% (+/- 0.5)*
7.4% (+/- 0.5)
7.8% (+/- 0.4)*
6.7% (+/- 0.3)*
8.6% (+/- 0.4)*
5.7% (+/- 0.5)
10.6% (+/- 0.5)*
7.7% (+/- 0.5)
6.2% (+/- 0.4)
7.3% (+/- 0.4)**
7.6% (+/- 0.7)
7.0% (+/- 0.4)
8.1% (+/- 0.4)*
7.5% (+/- 0.5)**
8.0% (+/- 0.5)
8.9% (+/- 0.3)
6.5% (+/- 0.5)
8.0% (+/- 0.5)*
9.7% (+/- 0.5)**
6.8% (+/- 0.4)
8.4% (+/- 0.5)
7.0% (+/- 0.5)
9.8% (+/- 0.5)
6.5% (+/- 0.4)
10.6% (+/- 0.7)*
8.8% (+/- 0.5)*
5.7% (+/- 0.4)
6.3% (+/- 0.4)*
7.4% (+/- 0.5)
6.8% (+/- 0.3)*
11.1% (+/- 0.6)
6.4% (+/- 0.4)
6.6% (+/- 0.5)
Ranking
4
50
19
14
27
51
38
15
24
12
9
24
33
17
17
35
33
7
8
30
23
41
13
48
2
24
47
32
27
35
19
29
21
10
43
21
6
38
15
35
5
43
2
11
48
46
30
38
1
45
42
2005-2007
3 Yr. Ave.
Percentage
(95% Conf Interval)
29.6% (+/- 1.1)
20.9% (+/- 1.4)
22.4% (+/- 1.4)
29.1% (+/- 0.9)
23.3% (+/- 0.9)
17.3% (+/- 0.6)
20.2% (+/- 0.8)
22.3% (+/- 1.0)
21.9% (+/- 1.0)
25.8% (+/- 0.7)
25.5% (+/- 0.9)
18.9% (+/- 0.8)
20.6% (+/- 0.8)
23.7% (+/- 0.9)
25.5% (+/- 0.8)
23.0% (+/- 0.8)
23.3% (+/- 0.7)
30.7% (+/- 1.0)
31.4% (+/- 1.0)
21.1% (+/- 0.9)
23.0% (+/- 0.8)
21.8% (+/- 0.6)
22.0% (+/- 0.7)
15.7% (+/- 0.9)
31.8% (+/- 0.9)
24.7% (+/- 1.1)
20.4% (+/- 0.9)
22.3% (+/- 0.8)
26.1% (+/- 1.3)
20.1% (+/- 0.7)
27.4% (+/- 0.7)
22.5% (+/- 0.8)
25.8% (+/- 0.8)^
24.6% (+/- 0.6)
22.5% (+/- 0.9)
24.8% (+/- 1.0)
30.0% (+/- 0.8)*
17.4% (+/- 0.7)
24.0% (+/- 0.8)
24.7% (+/- 1.0)
25.1% (+/- 0.7)
23.0% (+/- 0.8)*
31.1% (+/- 1.1)
28.1% (+/- 0.9)
19.1% (+/- 0.8)*
18.5% (+/- 0.7)
21.6% (+/- 0.9)
17.4% (+/- 0.4)
27.5% (+/- 1.0)*
19.1% (+/- 0.8)
21.8% (+/- 0.8)
Ranking
Source: Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), CDC. To “stabilize” BRFSS data in order to rank states, TFAH combined 3 years of data (See Appendix A for more
information on the methodology used for the rankings.). * & Red indicates a statistically significant change (P<0.05) from 2004-2006 to 2005-2007 (for Hypertension
figures - only collected every 2 years - from 2001-2005 to 2003-2007). **State increased significantly in the past 2 years. ***State increased significantly in the past 3
years. ^Statistically significant DECREASE.
10
6
39
30
7
23
50
42
31
34
12
14
46
40
22
14
25
23
4
2
38
25
35
33
51
1
18
41
31
11
43
10
28
12
20
28
17
5
48
21
18
16
25
3
8
44
47
37
48
9
44
35
AND OVERWEIGHT RATES AND RELATED HEALTH INDICATORS IN THE STATES
Hypertension
2003-2007
3 Yr. Ave.
Percentage
(95% Conf Interval)
33.5% (+/- 1.0)
23.9% (+/- 1.4)*
24.2% (+/- 1.2)
31.5% (+/- 0.9)*
27.2% (+/- 0.9)**
21.7% (+/- 0.7)
25.7% (+/- 0.8)**
29.2% (+/- 1.1)*
27.9% (+/- 1.2)
29.3% (+/- 0.9)*
29.4% (+/- 0.8)*
26.1% (+/- 0.9)*
25.4% (+/- 0.9)*
26.7% (+/- 0.9)*
28.1% (+/-0.8)*
26.3% (+/- 0.8)
25.6% (+/- 0.7)**
30.1% (+/- 0.9)
30.9% (+/- 1.0)**
27.6% (+/- 1.0)*
27.7% (+/- 0.8)*
25.8% (+/- 0.6)**
28.7% (+/- 0.8)**
22.6% (+/- 0.9)
34.5% (+/- 0.9)*
29.1% (+/- 1.1)**
24.5% (+/- 0.9)
25.5% (+/- 0.8)**
26.0% (+/- 1.2)
24.9% (+/- 0.7)*
27.2% (+/- 0.7)*
24.0% (+/- 0.8)**
27.0% (+/- 0.8)
29.8% (+/- 0.7)**
25.1% (+/- 0.9)*
28.2% (+/- 0.9)*
30.7% (+/- 0.7)**
25.5% (+/- 0.8)*
28.2% (+/- 0.8)
29.2% (+/- 1.0)**
31.3% (+/- 0.7)**
25.8% (+/- 0.7)*
32.1% (+/- 1.1)*
26.9% (+/- 0.7)*
20.3% (+/- 0.8)
24.6% (+/- 0.8)**
27.3% (+/- 1.0)**
25.4% (+/- 0.4)*
33.2% (+/- 1.0)
25.9% (+/- 0.9)*
25.2% (+/- 0.8)*
Ranking
2
48
46
5
24
50
35
13
20
12
11
30
39
28
19
29
36
9
7
22
21
33
16
49
1
15
45
37
31
43
24
47
26
10
42
17
8
37
17
13
6
33
4
27
51
44
23
39
3
32
41
CHILDREN AND ADOLESCENTS
2006 PedNSS 2003-2004 National Survey of Children's Health
Poverty
2007 YRBS
2004-2006
3 Yr. Ave.
Percentage
(90% Conf Interval)
16.0% (+/- 1.5)
9.3% (+/- 1.3)
14.7% (+/- 1.4)
15.6% (+/- 1.6)
12.9% (+/- 0.5)
10.4% (+/- 1.4)
9.1% (+/- 1.3)
9.2% (+/- 1.3)
18.8% (+/- 2.0)
11.4% (+/- 0.7)
13.3% (+/- 1.0)
8.8% (+/- 1.2)
9.8% (+/- 1.3)
11.5% (+/- 0.8)
11.6% (+/- 1.2)
10.8% (+/- 1.4)
12.2% (+/- 1.5)
16.5% (+/- 1.6)
17.4% (+/- 1.7)
11.5% (+/- 1.5)
9.3% (+/- 1.1)
10.5% (+/- 1.1)
12.9% (+/- 1.0)
7.7% (+/- 1.1)
19.8% (+/- 1.7)
11.7% (+/- 1.2)
13.8% (+/- 1.5)
9.7% (+/- 1.3)
10.4% (+/- 1.4)
5.5% (+/- 1.0)
7.9% (+/- 0.8)
17.1% (+/- 1.8)
14.5% (+/- 0.8)
13.8% (+/- 1.1)
10.8% (+/- 1.4)
12.0% (+/- 0.9)
13.9% (+/- 1.5)
11.9% (+/- 1.5)
11.3% (+/- 0.8)
11.3% (+/- 1.5)
13.7% (+/- 1.5)
12.0% (+/- 1.3)
15.2% (+/- 1.3)
16.4% (+/- 0.8)
9.5% (+/- 1.2)
7.7% (+/- 1.3)
9.1% (+/- 1.0)
9.9% (+/- 1.1)
15.0% (+/- 1.5)
10.9% (+/- 1.2)
10.2% (+/- 1.4)
Percentage of
Percentage of
Percentage High School
Obese High School Overweight High School Students Not Meeting
Students
Students
Recommended Physical
(95% Conf Interval) (95% Conf Interval)
Activity Level
N/A
N/A
N/A
11.1% (+/-2.2)
16.2% (+/- 2.7)
57.50%
11.7% (+/- 2.5)
14.2% (+/- 2.3)
68.00%
13.9% (+/- 2.5)
15.8% (+/- 2.3)
58.00%
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
12.3% (+/-1.6)
13.3% (+/- 1.9)
54.90%
13.3% (+/- 1.6)
17.5% (+/- 1.7)
59.60%
17.7% (+/- 2.0)
17.8% (+/- 2.1)
69.80%
11.2% (+/- 1.4)
15.2% (+/- 1.3)
61.60%
13.8% (+/- 2.0)
18.2% (+/- 2.1)
56.20%
15.6% (+/- 2.9)
14.3% (+/- 2.7)
65.70%
11.1% (+/- 1.7)
11.7% (+/- 2.6)
53.20%
12.9% (+/- 2.1)
15.7% (+/- 2.0)
56.50%
13.8% (+/-2.0)
15.3% (+/- 1.8)
56.30%
11.3% (+/- 3.1)
13.5% (+/- 2.2)
50.10%
11.1% (+/- 2.0)
14.4% (+/- 2.2_
54.90%
15.6% (+/- 1.7)
16.4% (+/- 1.6)
67.10%
N/A
N/A
N/A
12.8% (+/- 2.7)
13.1% (+/- 2.4)
56.90%
10.9% (+/- 2.4)
15.2% (+/- 2.8)
69.40%
11.1% (+/- 1.6)
14.6% (+/- 2.0)
59.00%
12.4% (+/- 2.0)
16.5% (+/- 2.0)
56.00%
N/A
N/A
N/A
17.9% (+/- 2.5)
17.9% (+/- 1.9)
63.90%
12.0% (+/- 3.0)
14.3% (+/- 1.5)
56.50%
10.1% (+/- 1.1)
13.3% (+/- 1.3)
55.10%
N/A
N/A
N/A
11.0% (+/- 2.3)
14.5% (+/- 1.9)
53.80%
11.7% (+/- 2.0)
14.4% (+/-2.0)
53.10%
N/A
N/A
N/A
10.9% (+/- 2.0)
13.5% (+/- 2.1)
56.40%
10.9% (+/- 1.1)
16.3% (+/- 1.3)
62.00%
12.8% (+/- 2.4)
17.1% (+/- 1.9)
55.70%
10.0% (+/- 1.9)
13.7% (+/- 3.3)
52.20%
12.4% (+/- 2.2)
15.0% (+/-3.3)
55.30%
14.7% (+/- 1.9)
15.2% (+/- 1.9)
50.40%
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
10.7% (+/- 2.2)
16.2% (+/- 1.8)
58.10%
14.4% (+/- 2.9)
17.1% (+/- 2.3)
62.00%
9.1% (+/- 2.6)
14.5% (+/- 2.1)
56.00%
16.9% (+/- 2.0)
18.1% (+/- 2.1)
58.00%
15.9% (+/- 2.1)
15.6% (+/- 2.0)
54.80%
8.7% (+/- 3.8)
11.7% (+/- 2.5)
52.50%
11.8% (+/-3.3)
14.5% (+/- 2.8)
52.00%
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
14.7% (+/- 2.4)
17.0% (+/- 3.2)
57.20%
11.1% (+/- 1.6)
14.0% (+/- 1.4)
61.70%
9.3% (+/-1.5)
11.4% (+/- 1.4)
51.80%
Source: U.S. Census
Bureau, Current
Population Survey, 2005 to
2007 Annual Social and
Economic Supplements.
<http://www.census.gov/
hhes/www/poverty/poverty
06/state.html>
Percentage Obese
Low-Income
Children
Ages 2-5
13.70%
N/A
13.50%
13.20%
17.00%
9.60%
16.20%
N/A
15.40%
13.90%
14.50%
N/A
12.40%
14.40%
14.00%
14.60%
13.80%
17.40%
N/A
N/A
14.80%
16.70%
13.30%
13.10%
N/A
13.60%
12.10%
13.10%
14.00%
15.90%
18.10%
11.50%
15.30%
15.40%
N/A
11.70%
N/A
14.30%
11.10%
16.50%
13.70%
14.30%
13.10%
15.60%
N/A
12.90%
17.00%
14.20%
12.70%
13.00%
N/A
Percentage Obese
Ages 10-17
Ranking
16.70%
11.10%
12.20%
16.40%
13.20%
9.90%
12.30%
14.80%
22.80%
14.40%
16.40%
13.30%
10.10%
15.80%
15.60%
12.50%
14.00%
20.60%
17.20%
12.70%
13.30%
13.60%
14.50%
10.10%
17.80%
15.60%
11.10%
11.90%
12.40%
12.90%
13.70%
16.80%
15.30%
19.30%
12.10%
14.20%
15.40%
14.10%
13.30%
11.90%
18.90%
12.10%
20.00%
19.10%
8.50%
11.30%
13.80%
10.80%
20.90%
13.50%
8.70%
11
44
38
12
32
49
37
19
1
21
12
29
47
14
15
35
24
3
9
34
29
27
20
47
8
15
44
41
36
33
26
10
18
5
39
22
17
23
29
41
7
39
4
6
51
43
25
46
2
28
50
Percentage Participating in
Physical Activity ≥ 20 mins
Days a Week or More
3 Ages 10-17
77.60%
75.50%
72.70%
71.90%
74.90%
70.40%
68.50%
65.70%
62.10%
68.90%
69.10%
75.20%
70.50%
71.10%
70.70%
74.80%
76.60%
68.40%
75.20%
67.30%
61.70%
67.60%
69.60%
72.80%
69.40%
72.10%
76.40%
74.20%
72.60%
68.10%
66.80%
69.90%
68.20%
74.40%
75.40%
69.90%
73.30%
77.00%
67.90%
63.80%
67.50%
73.20%
65.10%
73.90%
71.70%
73.50%
72.50%
72.90%
77.10%
75.10%
76.80%
Source: Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) 2007, CDC. YRBS data are collected every 2 years. Percentages are as reported on the CDC website and can be found at
<http://www.cdc.gov/HealthyYouth/yrbs/index.htm>. Note that previous YRBS reports used the term “overweight” to describe youth with a BMI at or above the 95th
percentile for age and sex and “at risk for overweight” for those with a BMI at or above the 85th percentile, but below the 95th percentile. However, this report uses the
terms “obese” and “overweight” based on the 2007 recommendations from the Expert Committee on the Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent
Overweight and Obesity convened by the American Medical Association. Students “not meeting recommended levels of physical activity” is the difference between
100 percent and the percentage of students “who met recommended levels of physical activity.” • Source: 2006 National PedNSS Tables, number 6D, available at:
<http://www.cdc.gov/pednss/pednss_tables/pdf/national_table6.pdf>.Source: National Survey of Children's Health, 2003. Overweight and Physical Activity Among
Children: A Portrait of States and the Nation 2005, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
11
Southern states continue to fill the top 10 most obese states in the country, with the exception
of Michigan. Mississippi, West Virginia and Alabama stayed in the same positions as last year.
States with the Highest Obesity Rates
Rank
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8 (tie)
8 (tie)
10
Mississippi
West Virginia
Alabama
Louisiana
South Carolina
Tennessee
Kentucky
Oklahoma
Arkansas
Michigan
Percentage of Adult Obesity
(Based on 2005-2007 Combined Data,
Including Confidence Intervals)
31.7% (+/- 1.0)
30.6% (+/- 1.1)
30.1% (+/- 1.2)
29.5% (+/- 1.0)
29.2% (+/-0.8)
29.0% (+/-1.2)
28.4% (+/- 1.0)
28.1% (+/- 0.8)
28.1% (+/- 0.9)
27.7% (+/- 0.8)
Northeastern and Western states continue to dominate the states with the lowest rates of obesity,
this year D.C. and New Jersey replaced Arizona and New Mexico.
States With the Lowest Obesity Rates
Rank
State
51
50
49
48
47
46
Colorado
Hawaii
Connecticut
Massachusetts
Vermont
Rhode Island
45
44
43
42
Montana
Utah
District of Columbia
New Jersey
Percentage of Adult Obesity
(Based on 2005-2007 Combined Data,
Including Confidence Intervals)
18.4% (+/- 0.7)
20.7% (+/- 0.8)
20.8% (+/- 0.8)
20.9% (+/- 0.6)
21.1% (+/-0.7)
21.4% (+/-1.0)
21.7% (+/- 0.8)
21.8% (+/- 0.9)
22.1% (+/- 1.0)
22.9% (+/- 0.7)
Rates and Rankings Methodology
The rates and rankings in the tables are based on comparisons of
2004-2006 to 2005-2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
(BRFSS) data. TFAH uses 3 years of BRFSS data in order to stabilize
the data by using large enough sample sizes for comparisons among
states and over time based on advice of officials from the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In order for a
state rate to be considered to have an increase, the change must
reach a level of what experts consider to be statistically significant
(p<0.05) for the particular sample size of that state.
The District of Columbia is included in the state rankings, since CDC
funds D.C. to conduct a survey in an equivalent way to the states.
12
The data are based on telephone surveys conducted by state health
departments with assistance from CDC where individuals self-report
their weight and height. Researchers then use these statistics to calculate body mass index (BMI) to determine obesity or overweight.
Since the survey is based on self-reporting, experts feel the rates are
likely to be slightly underreported, since individuals tend to underreport their weight and over report their height.
More information about the methodology of the rankings is available
in Appendix A.
DEFINITIONS OF OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT
Obesity is defined as an excessively high amount of body fat or adipose tissue in relation to
lean body mass.23,24 Overweight refers to increased body weight in relation to height, which is
then compared to a standard of acceptable weight.25 Body mass index, or BMI, is a common
measure expressing the relationship (or ratio) of weight-to-height. The equation is:
BMI =
(Weight in pounds)
x 703
(Height in inches) x (Height in inches)
Adults with a BMI of 25 to 29.9 are considered
overweight, while individuals with a BMI of 30
or more are considered obese. The National
Institutes of Health (NIH) adopted a lower optimal weight threshold in June 1998. Previously,
the federal government defined overweight as a
BMI of 28 for men and 27 for women.
Until recently children and youth at or above
the 95th percentile were defined as “overweight”, while children at or above the 85th
percentile but below the 95th percentile were
defined as “at risk of overweight”. However,
in 2007, an expert committee recommended
using the same cut points but changing the
terminology by replacing “overweight” with
“obese” and “at risk of overweight” with
“overweight”. The committee also added an
additional cut point -- BMI at or above the
99th percentile -- to define “severe obesity.”26
There are some issues and disputes surrounding the use of BMI as the primary
measure for obesity, including:
BMI does not distinguish between fat and
muscle, and individuals with a significant
amount of lean muscle will have higher BMIs
which do not indicate an unhealthy level of fat.
Research has shown that those of African
and/or Polynesian ancestry may have less
body fat and leaner muscle mass, suggesting higher baseline BMIs for overweight
and obesity.27
Research has also found that there may be
other race or ethnicity issues in BMI measurements. A June 2005 study found that
current BMI thresholds “significantly underestimate health risks in many nonEuropeans.”28 Asian and Aboriginal groups,
despite “healthy” BMIs, had high risk of
“weight related health problems.”29 Several
years ago, it was suggested to the World
Health Organization (WHO) that BMI levels
be dropped to 23 and 25 for overweight
and obesity, respectively, among Asian populations, but no such changes have occurred.
Recent studies have shown that for adults,
waist circumference is another, and perhaps
better, way to determine more about the
health of an individual.30 A study conducted
in 1998 and recently reported on by the
Harvard Medical School showed that
women with a healthy-weight BMI are more
likely to suffer from coronary disease if their
waist circumference is too high.31 The problem that doctors have encountered is finding
a formula for waist circumference, because
the numbers based on averages do not take
height into account. The International
Journal of Obesity recently reported that the
waist-to-height ratio might be a better indicator of health. Using this measure, an
adult’s waist circumference should be less
than half of his or her height.32
Examining BMI levels, however, is still considered useful by a number of researchers for
examining trends and patterns of overweight
and obesity.
The strengths of the BMI measure include:
Correlates with body fat;
Easy to measure;
Noninvasive;
Less expensive than other more invasive
techniques;
Good sensitivity and specificity;
Most recommended measure;
There is U.S. reference data so it can be
used to track trends;
Child BMI correlates with adult adiposity33;
and
Correlates with cardiovascular risk factors
and long-term mortality.34,35
Many experts, however, recommend assessing
an individual’s health using factors in addition
to BMI, such as waist size, waist-to-hip ratio,
blood pressure, cholesterol level, and blood
sugar.36 Recently, an expert panel consisting of
15 health organizations recommended that
physicians and allied healthcare providers perform, at a minimum, a yearly assessment of
weight status in all children, and that this
assessment should include calculation of
height, weight, and BMI for age and plotting
those measures on a standard growth chart.37
13
B. CHILDHOOD AND YOUTH OBESITY AND
OVERWEIGHT RATES
1. Study of Children and Adolescents Age 2 to 19 Years Old
According to a recent analysis of data from
the National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey (NHANES), the number of U.S. children who are overweight or
obese may have peaked, after years of steady
increases. Researchers at CDC report that
there was no statistically significant change
in the number of children and adolescents
(aged 2 to 19) with high BMI for age
between 2003-2004 and 2005-2006.38
Percentage of Children Age 2-19 Classified as Overweight or Obese, and Obese
Source: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data
This is the first time the rates have not
increased in over 25 years. Scientists and
public health officials, however, are unsure
if the data reflect the effectiveness of recent
public health campaigns to raise awareness
about obesity and increased physical activity
and healthy eating among children and adolescents, or if this a statistical abnormality.39
Even if childhood obesity rates have peaked,
the number of children with unhealthy BMIs
14
remains far too high and the public health
toll of childhood obesity will continue to
grow as the problems related to overweight
and obesity in children show up later in life.
Scientists expect to know more when the 20072008 NHANES data are analyzed. The 20052006 National Survey on Children’s Health, a
large national survey with state-specific data, is
also due out in late 2008 and may offer another perspective on childhood obesity rates.
2. Study of 10- to 17-Year Olds
Proportion of Children Age 10-17 Classified as Obese, by State
Source: National Survey on Children’s Health, 2003.
According to a 2003-2004 National Survey
of Children’s Health (NSCH), childhood
obesity rates for children age 10-17, defined
as BMI greater than 95th percentile BMI for
age group, ranged from a low of 8.5 percent
in Utah to 22.8 percent in D.C. Eight of the
10 states with the highest rates of obese children are in the South. The NSCH study is
based on a survey of parents in each state.
States with Highest Rates of Obese 10- to 17-Year Olds
Ranking
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
States
D.C.
West Virginia
Kentucky
Tennessee
North Carolina
Texas
South Carolina
Mississippi
Louisiana
New Mexico
Percentage of Obese 10- to 17-Year Olds
22.8%
20.9%
20.6%
20.0%
19.3%
19.1%
18.9%
17.8%
17.2%
16.8%
15
Six of the states with the lowest rates of obese 10- to 17-year olds are in the West.
States With Lowest Rates of Obese 10- to 17-Year Olds
Ranking
51
50
49
47 (tie)
47 (tie)
46
44 (tie)
44 (tie)
43
41 (tie)
41 (tie)
States
Utah
Wyoming
Colorado
Idaho
Minnesota
Washington
Alaska
Montana
Vermont
Nebraska
Rhode Island
Percentage of Obese 10- to 17-Year Olds
8.5%
8.7%
9.9%
10.1%
10.1%
10.8%
11.1%
11.1%
11.3%
11.9%
11.9%
Methodology of the National Survey of Children’s Health
NSCH was fielded using the State and Local
Area Integrated Telephone Survey (SLAITS)
method, and conducted by the National Center
for Health Statistics using the same random
digit dialing sampling frame as the National
Immunization Survey.40 Data were collected
from the parent or guardian “who was most
knowledgeable about the health and health
care of children under 18 years of age” in the
household from January 2003 to July 2004.
3. Survey of High School Students
According to the 2007 national Youth Risk
Behavior Survey (YRBS), a survey of U.S.
high school students, 13 percent of students
are obese and 15.8 percent of students are
overweight.41 Although these numbers were
virtually unchanged since the 2005 national
YRBS, the latest biennial survey did reveal an
upward trend from 1999 to 2007 in the prevalence of students nationwide who were obese
(10.7 percent to 13.0 percent) and who were
overweight (14.4 percent to 15.8 percent).
Overall, 102,353 interviews were completed
with a response rate ranging from nearly 50
percent to nearly 65 percent, depending on the
state. Data were weighted according to a variety of socio-economic measures to ensure an
accurate picture of the population. State-level
estimates have a margin of error of up to 3
percent, and “small differences between survey
estimates may be due to random survey error,”
rather than actual differences in measurement.
In 2007, YRBS data from 39 states indicated
that obesity rates among high school students ranged from a low of 8.7 percent in
Utah to a high of 17.9 percent in Mississippi,
with a median obesity rate of 12 percent.
Overweight rates among high school students ranged from a low of 11.4 percent in
Wyoming to a high of 18.2 percent in
Georgia, with a median overweight rate of
15.0 percent. Thirty-nine states and D.C.
participated in the survey
Percentage of Obese and Overweight U.S. High School Students by Sex
Female
Male
Total
16
Obese
9.6%
16.3%
13.0%
Overweight
15.1%
16.4%
15.8%
Percentage of Obese and Overweight U.S. High School
Students by Race/Ethnicity
Obese
10.8%
18.3%
16.6%
13.0%
White*
Black*
Hispanic
Total
Overweight
14.3%
19.0%
18.1%
15.8%
*Note: Non-Hispanic
Percentage of Obese and Overweight U.S. High School Students
by Sex and Race/Ethnicity
Obese
Female
6.8%
17.8%
12.7%
9.6%
White*
Black*
Hispanic
Total
Male
14.6%
18.9%
20.3%
16.3%
Overweight
Female
Male
12.8%
15.7%
21.4%
16.6%
17.9%
18.3%
15.1%
16.4%
*Note: Non-Hispanic
Methodology for the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System
(YRBSS) monitors 6 categories of priority
health-risk behaviors among youth and young
adults. The YRBSS includes national, state,
and local Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (YRBS)
conducted biennially among representative
samples of high school students. The 2007
data in this report are from the national YRBS
and separate YRBSs conducted in 39 states.
Data are not available from every state
because some do not conduct a YRBS (in
2007, these states were: California, Louisiana,
4. Study of Low-Income Children Aged 2-5
A survey of low-income children aged 2-5
called the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance
Survey (PedNSS) found that 14.8 percent of
Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and
Washington) and some states that do conduct
a YRBS did not have weighted data (in 2007,
these states were: Alabama, Colorado,
Nebraska, New Jersey, and Oregon). TFAH
reported the percentage of obese and overweight high school students based on information from CDC. All data reported in this
section can be found in the article “Youth Risk
Behavior Surveillance -- United States, 2007”
published in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly
Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
these children are obese and 16.4 percent
are overweight.42 Forty states and D.C. participated in the survey.
Methodology for the Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance Survey
TFAH used PedNSS data as a snapshot of
overweight and obesity among low-income
pre-school aged children. These data are collected at public health clinics across the country, are aggregated by the state, territorial,
and tribal governments, and then reported to
and published by CDC. Data are collected
yearly and are available at
http://www.cdc.gov/pednss.
17
CHILD AND ADOLESCENT HEALTH SURVEYS
In the 2008 report, TFAH highlights data from
4 separate child and adolescent health surveys.
The National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey (NHANES) is designed
to study national trends and data and is considered the gold standard.
The National Survey of Children’s Health
(NSCH) uses data collected from the parent
or guardian and provides state-level estimates
of children’s health statistics, including obesity.
The Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
System (YRBSS) collects data on health-risk
behaviors among youth and young adults.
The YRBSS is unique because of its statelevel, grade-level, and racial and ethnic
specific data.
The Pediatric Nutrition Surveillance Survey is
designed to collect data on overweight and
obesity among low-income pre-school aged
children.
The 4 studies collect information in different
ways and, therefore, have different results that
are difficult to compare. For example, the
NSCH numbers are usually lower, because the
survey design is based on data collected from
parents about their children. Parents, especially
those of young children, tend to underreport
weight. NHANES data, meanwhile, are collected through in-person interviews and physician
examinations. Obesity is calculated using actual
height and weight measurements, rather than
self-reported data; because of this, the NHANES
is often referred to as the “gold standard.”
C. PHYSICAL INACTIVITY IN ADULTS
Six states reported an increase is physical inactivity in the past year, up from only 3 reporting
an increase in last year’s report. Physical inactivity rates for adults reflect the number of survey respondents who reported not engaging
in physical activity or exercise during the previous 30 days other than their regular jobs.
While the 2004-2006 data showed that 5
states had decreased rates of physical inactivity -- i.e. more people reported being
engaged in physical activity -- the 2005-2007
data show only one state, New York, with a
lower rate of physical inactivity than last year.
Overall, rates of physical inactivity appear to
be stagnant, with the majority of states not
demonstrating any statistically significant
change in their rates of physical inactivity.
Mississippi, the state with the highest rate of
obesity, also had the highest reported percentage of physical inactivity at 31.8 percent. Southern states dominate the highest
rates of physical inactivity, with the exception of New Jersey.
States with the Highest Rates of Physical Inactivity
18
Rank
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Mississippi
Louisiana
Tennessee
Kentucky
Oklahoma
Alabama
Arkansas
Texas
West Virginia
New Jersey
Percentage of Adult Physical
Inactivity (Based on 2005-2007
Combined Data, Including
Confidence Intervals)
31.8% (+/- 0.9)
31.4% (+/- 1.0)
31.1% (+/-1.1)
30.7% (+/-1.0)
30.0% (+/-0.8)
29.6% (+/-1.1)
29.1% (+/-0.9)
28.1% (+/-0.9)
27.5% (+/-1.0)
27.4% (+/-0.7)
Obesity Ranking
1
4
6
7
8
3
8
15
2
42
Minnesota stays at the bottom of the rankings with 15.7 percent of adults reporting
physical inactivity -- statistically the same as
the previous year’s rate. All 10 states with
the lowest rates of physical inactivity remain
the same as last year’s report.
States with the Lowest Rates of Physical Inactivity
Rank
State
51
50
48
48
47
46
44
44
43
42
Minnesota
Colorado
Washington
Oregon
Vermont
Hawaii
Wisconsin
Utah
New Hampshire
Connecticut
Percentage of Adult Physical
Inactivity (Based on 2005-2007
Combined Data, Including
Confidence Intervals)
15.7% (+/- 0.9)
17.3% (+/-0.6)
17.4% (+/-0.4)
17.4% (+/-0.7)
18.5% (+/-0.7)
18.9% (+/-0.8)
19.1% (+/-0.8)
19.1% (+/-0.8)
20.1% (+/-0.7)
20.2% (+/-0.8)
Obesity Ranking
30
51
32
29
47
50
25
44
35
49
D. DIABETES AND HYPERTENSION
Obesity and physical inactivity have been
shown to be related to a range of chronic
diseases, including diabetes and hypertension. Eight of the 10 states with the highest
rates of adult diabetes are also in the top 10
states with the highest obesity rates, and 9 of
the 10 states with the highest rates of hyper-
tension are also in the top 10 states with the
highest rates of obesity. Diabetes rates rose
in 26 states and 7 states experienced an
increase in diabetes rates for the second
straight year. Hypertension rates rose in 38
states and 15 states had an increase in hypertension rates 2 years in a row.
1. Diabetes
West Virginia, for the second year in a row,
had the highest rate of adult diabetes at 11.1
percent, while Colorado had the lowest rate
at 5.1 percent. All 10 states with the highest
rates of adult diabetes are in the South.
States with the Highest Rates of Adult Diabetes
Rank
State
1
2 (tie)
2 (tie)
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
West Virginia
Tennessee
Mississippi
Alabama
South Carolina
Oklahoma
Kentucky
Louisiana
Georgia
North Carolina
Percentage of Adult Diabetes
(Based on 2005-2007 Combined
Data, Including Confidence Intervals)
11.1% (+/-0.6 )
10.6% (+/-0.7 )
10.6% (+/-0.5 )
10.0% (+/-0.6 )
9.8% (+/-0.5)
9.7% (+/-0.5)
9.6% (+/-0.6)
9.5% (+/-0.5)
9.2% (+/-0.5)
8.9% (+/-0.3)
Obesity Ranking
2
6
1
3
5
8
7
4
11
16
19
2. Hypertension
For the third year in a row, Mississippi led
the nation with the highest rate of hypertension, at 34.5 percent, while Utah, at 20.3
percent, had the lowest rate for the third
year in a row. All 10 states with the highest
rates of adult hypertension are in the South.
States with the Highest Rates of Adult Hypertension
Rank
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Mississippi
Alabama
West Virginia
Tennessee
Arkansas
South Carolina
Louisiana
Oklahoma
Kentucky
North Carolina
Percentage of Adult Hypertension
(Based on 2003-2007 Combined
Data, Including Confidence Intervals)
Based on a Survey Conducted Every
Other Year
34.5% (+/- 0.9)
33.5% (+/- 1.0)
33.2% (+/-1.0)
32.1% (+/-1.1)
31.5% (+/-0.9)
31.3% (+/-0.7)
30.9% (+/-1.0)
30.7% (+/-0.7)
30.1% (+/-0.9)
29.8% (+/-0.7)
Obesity Ranking
1
3
2
6
8 (tie)
5
4
8 (tie)
7
16
E. OBESITY AND POVERTY
Obesity rates also appear to have some relationship with poverty rates in many states,
although there are notable exceptions. Seven
of the states with the highest poverty rates are
also in the top 10 states with the highest obesi-
ty rates. Eight out of the 10 states with the
highest rates of poverty are in the South, where
obesity rates are also higher, while many of the
states with the lowest poverty rates are among
the states with the lowest rates of obesity.
States with the Highest Poverty Rates and Their Obesity Rankings
20
Poverty
Rank
State
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Mississippi
D.C.
Louisiana
New Mexico
Kentucky
Texas
Alabama
Arkansas
Tennessee
West Virginia
Percentage of Poverty (Based on
2004-2006 Combined Data,
Including Confidence Intervals)
19.8% (+/- 1.7)
18.8% (+/- 2.0)
17.4% (+/- 1.7)
17.1% (+/- 1.8)
16.5% (+/- 1.6)
16.4% (+/- 0.8)
16.0% (+/- 1.5)
15.6% (+/- 1.6)
15.2% (+/- 1.3)
15.0% (+/- 1.5)
Obesity Ranking
1
43
4
38
7
15
3
8
6
2
States with the Lowest Poverty Rates and Their Obesity Rankings
Poverty
Rank
State
51
49 (tie)
49 (tie)
48
47
45 (tie)
45 (tie)
44
42 (tie)
42 (tie)
New Hampshire
Minnesota
Vermont
New Jersey
Hawaii
Connecticut
Virginia
Delaware
Alaska
Maryland
Percentage of Poverty
(Based on 2004-2006 Combined,
Including Confidence Intervals)
5.5% (+/- 1.0)
7.7% (+/- 1.1)
7.7% (+/- 1.3)
7.9% (+/- 0.8)
8.8% (+/- 1.2)
9.1% (+/- 1.3)
9.1% (+/- 1.0)
9.2% (+/- 1.3)
9.3% (+/- 1.3)
9.3% (+/- 1.1)
Obesity Ranking
35
30
47
42
50
49
27
21
14
27
WHY NATIONAL AND STATE DATA ARE DIFFERENT: 2 DIFFERENT SURVEYS
The CDC conducts 2 separate information
surveys about health statistics.
The National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey (NHANES) is designed
to study national trends and data. The
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey
(BRFSS) studies trends and data in each state.
The 2 studies collect information in different
ways and, therefore, have different results.
The BRFSS numbers are usually lower,
because the survey design is based on selfreported information, whereas NHANES data
are collected through in-person interviews
and physician examinations. The number typically cited for the national adult obesity rate
is 32 percent using the NHANES data. This
number is higher than the estimated percentage for many states, which use BRFSS.
NHANES is a nationally representative survey. Obesity is calculated using actual height
and weight measurements, rather than selfreported data; because of this, the NHANES
is often referred to as the “gold standard.”
BRFSS is based on state rather than national
representation and is a telephone survey
where respondents self-report their height,
weight, and other health information. It is the
only source for state-level health information.
According to CDC, BRFSS is the largest phone
survey in the world. Because data show that
women are more likely to report that they
weigh less than they do while men are more
likely to say that they are taller than they are,
it is commonly believed that BRFSS underreports obesity.43 Although the BMI data gathered in the BRFSS may not be completely
accurate, the main purpose of this surveillance
is to monitor trends and there are no methodological issues with this, that is, the tendency
to report a lower weight or higher height likely remains constant every year.
Despite these limitations, BRFSS is the best
available source of data on health trends in
states and local areas. This taxpayer supported CDC program is the only source that
collects state-by-state health information on a
regular basis.
CDC provides BRFSS information to policymakers, including Congress and state officials,
and to the public. CDC presents this information routinely through charts, its Web site, and
trend maps. These data provide the opportunity to review trends and patterns. As happens in this report, sometimes CDC presents
this data without confidence intervals for the
sake of clarity; however, additional information
with more detail, including sample sizes, confidence intervals, limitations, and data quality, is
available to the public on CDC’s Web site at
ftp://ftp.cdc.gov/pub/Data/Brfss/2007Summary
DataQualityReport.pdf.
WHY RANK STATES?
TFAH provides state rankings to better inform
policymakers and the public about obesity
trends in the United States. The information
allows people to gain a better understanding of
patterns in rising obesity rates. State rankings
also help demonstrate the varying levels of
concern and action on obesity in different
areas of the country. Due to annual variations
in the data, and based on advice from CDC
officials, TFAH stabilizes the data by combining
3 years. This is similar to how NHANES combines 3 years of data to stabilize any anomalies.
21
Fast Facts About Obesity
A. WHAT’S BEHIND THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC?
MANY ISSUES INFLUENCE NUTRITION AND PHYSICAL
ACTIVITY BEHAVIORS
2
SECTION
Food Choices and Changes
Higher caloric intake -- Adults consumed approximately 300 more calories daily in 2002
than they did in 1985.44
Higher caloric density of foods.
Limited access to supermarkets and nutritious, fresh foods in many urban and rural neighborhoods.
“Portion distortion,” or the rise of bigger portions.
“Value sizing” or placing a higher value on the amount of food versus the quality of food.
Less in-home cooking and more frequent reliance on take-out food and eating in restaurants.
The proliferation of microwaves and faster, easier to prepare foods.
Schools
A variety of food and beverage options are available throughout the school day including
soda, fruit drinks that are not 100 percent juice, high energy dense foods, and fast food.
These foods and beverages are available at venues such as a la carte lines, school stores,
snack machines, fundraisers, and classroom parties.
Reduction in the amount of physical education, recess, and recreation time.
Few safe routes to school.
Limited health education classes.
Lack of opportunities to participate in physical activity that are lifelong in nature.
Communities Not Designed for Physical Activity
Communities designed to foster driving rather than walking or biking.
Lack of public transportation options.
Poor upkeep of sidewalk infrastructure.
Walking areas often unsafe or inconvenient.
Limited parks and recreation space, including indoor facilities.
Poor upkeep and security in local parks.
Weather conditions limit outdoor physical activity options.
Lack of affordable indoor physical activity options.
Marketing and Advertising
Greater advertising and marketing of less nutritious foods.
Marketing of “fad” diets.
Workplaces Not Conducive to Health
Many desk jobs limit or discourage activity, part of the sedentary lifestyle.
Worksites typically not designed to foster movement.
Limited opportunities for physical activity or recreation during the work day.
Unhealthy options in cafeterias or work lunch sites.
Lack of bike racks and/or shower facilities discourage active transportation.
23
Economic Constraints
Health insurance coverage for obesity-prevention services is often limited or not available.
People without health insurance often do not receive either appropriate preventive services or follow-up care.
“Value sizing” of less nutritious foods and the higher costs of many nutritious foods.
Expense of and taxes on gym memberships, exercise classes, equipment, facility use, and
sports league fees.
Lower-income neighborhoods have fewer and smaller grocery stores and less access to
affordable fruits and vegetables.
Family and Home Influences
Influence of other family members’ habits on eating and exercise patterns.
“Electronic culture” options for entertainment and free time, including TV, video games,
and the Internet.
More people working outside the home or far from home.
Limited Time
Long work hours mean more meals -- many of them high in calories - are eaten outside of
the home.
Car time and commuting cut into free time that could be used for physical activity.
Genetics, Physiology, and Life Stages
Metabolism.
Childbearing.
Increased risk factors for obesity and related diseases in children with obese parents,
particularly mothers.
Aging factors, including menstruation, pre-menopause, and menopause for women.
Weight-gain as a side effect from some commonly used medications such as insulin,
antiretrovirals, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and injectable contraceptives.
Psychology
Body image concerns.
Consumers’ frustration with conflicting nutrition information and advice.
Eating to combat stress.
Turning to eating as a replacement for smoking or other unhealthy behaviors.
24
B. OBESITY’S IMPACT ON HEALTH
HEALTH IMPACT OF OBESITY AND PHYSICAL INACTIVITY
Below are some key findings based on a range of research into the health impact of obesity on
adult and child health. Physical activity has been shown to have a role in reversing or preventing
many of these health problems.
Type 2 Diabetes
More than 80 percent of people with type
2 diabetes are overweight.45
More than 20 million adult Americans
have diabetes.46
Another 54 million Americans are
pre-diabetic, which means they have
prolonged or uncontrolled elevated
blood sugar levels that can contribute
to the development of diabetes.47
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of
death in the United States and accounts for
11 percent of all U.S. health care costs.48, 49
Diabetes is the leading cause of renal failure,
limb amputations and blindness.50
CDC projects that 48.3 million Americans
will have diabetes by 2050.51
Approximately 176,500 individuals under
the age of 20 have diabetes.52
Two million adolescents aged 12-19 are
pre-diabetic.53
The National Institute of Diabetes and
Digestive and Kidney Diseases found that
a 7-percent weight loss together with
moderate levels of physical activity (walking 30 minutes a day 5 days a week)
decreased the number of new diabetes
type 2 cases by 58 percent.54
THE EMERGING TREND OF TYPE 2 DIABETES IN CHILDREN
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that
accounts “for about 90 to 95 percent of all
diagnosed cases of diabetes. It usually
begins as insulin resistance, a disorder in
which the cells do not use insulin properly.
As the need for insulin rises, the pancreas
gradually loses its ability to produce it.”55
The American Diabetes Association
describes type 2 diabetes as a “new epidemic” among American children.56
Traditionally a disease of mature adults,
type 2 diabetes now accounts for 8 percent
to 45 percent of new pediatric diabetes
cases, depending on geographical location.57
Although there are a number of genetic risk
factors, obesity is largely driving the
increase in childhood type 2 diabetes. The
problem is especially severe among children and youth of African, Hispanic, Asian,
or American Indian ancestry.58
In 2000, SEARCH for Diabetes in Youth, a 5year, $22 million research project funded by
CDC and the National Institute of Diabetes
and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK),
was launched to identify the number of children under age 20 with diabetes by type,
age, sex, and race or ethnicity. SEARCH’s
other primary research goals included:
assessing how type 1 and type 2 diabetes differ in children; learning about the possible
long-term health complications of diabetes in
children and adolescents; investigating how
children are being treated for diabetes; and
determining the quality of life of diabetic children and adolescents.59
Initial results from the study show that
while type 1 diabetes remains the most
common form of diabetes among children
and adolescents, type 2 diabetes becomes
more common after the age of 10, with
minority children more affected than nonHispanic white children.60 A phase II study
is underway and will wrap up in 2009.
According to Francine Ratner Kaufman,
president of the American Diabetes
Association, “there is no doubt that the
emergence of this epidemic in children and
young adults is a major public health problem.”61 The association calls on schools
and communities to take an active role in
the prevention of type 2 diabetes in children by encouraging physical activity and
improved eating habits.
25
Heart Disease and Stroke
People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from high blood pressure, high
levels of blood fats, and high LDL ("bad")
cholesterol -- all risk factors for heart disease and stroke.62
Physically inactive people are twice as
likely to develop coronary heart disease
as regularly active people.63
Heart disease is the leading cause of
death in the United States, and stroke is
the third leading cause.64
One in 4 Americans has some form of
cardiovascular disease.65
Heart disease can lead to a heart attack,
congestive heart failure, sudden cardiac
death, angina (chest pain), or abnormal
heart rhythm.66
A stroke limits blood and oxygen to the
brain and can cause paralysis or death.67
Roughly 30 percent of cases of hypertension may be attributable to obesity, and in
men under the age of 45, the figure may
be as high as 60 percent.68
Cancer
People who are overweight “may increase
the risk of developing several types of
cancer, including cancers of the colon,
esophagus, and kidney. Overweight is
also linked with uterine and postmenopausal breast cancer in women.”69
Approximately 20 percent of cancer in
women and 15 percent of cancer in men
are attributable to obesity.70
Cancer is the second leading cause of
death in the United States.71
It is unknown why being overweight can
increase cancer risk. One theory is that
fat cells may affect overall cell growth in a
person’s body.72
Neurological and Psychiatric Diseases
Obesity may increase adults’ risk for
dementia. A review of 10 published studies found that people who were obese at
the beginning of the studies were 80 percent more likely to later develop
Alzheimer’s disease than those adults
who had a normal weight at enrollment.73
An analysis of data from a health survey
of more than 40,000 Americans found
that obese adults were more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and other
26
mental health conditions than normal
weight adults.74 The odds of suffering
from any mood disorder rose by 56 percent among obese individuals (30 ≤ BMI ≤
39.9) and doubled among the extremely
obese ( BMI ≥ 40).75
Kidney Disease
Obese individuals (BMI ≥ 30) are 83 percent more likely to develop kidney disease than normal weight individuals
(18.5<BMI<25), while overweight individuals (25< BMI≤30) are 40 percent
more likely to develop kidney disease.76
An estimated 24.2 percent of kidney disease cases among U.S. men and 33.9 percent of cases among women are related
to overweight and obesity.77
Arthritis
Obesity is a known risk factor for the
development and progression of knee
osteoarthritis and possibly osteoarthritis of
other joints. For example, obese adults are
up to 4 times more likely to develop knee
osteoarthritis than normal weight adults.78
Among individuals who have received a
doctor’s diagnosis of arthritis, 68.8 percent are overweight or obese.79
For every pound of body weight lost,
there is a 4-pound reduction in knee joint
stress among overweight and obese people with osteoarthritis of the knee.80
Obesity and Children’s Health
Nearly 32 percent of U.S. children and
adolescents are overweight or obese (at or
above the 85th percentile of BMI for age).81
Approximately 60 percent of obese children
aged 5-10 years had at least one cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor -- such as
elevated total cholesterol, triglycerides,
insulin, or blood pressure -- and 25 percent
had 2 or more risk CVD risk factors.82
The American Academy of Pediatrics
issued new guidelines in July 2008 recommending cholesterol screening of children
as young as age 2 and adolescents with a
family history of high cholesterol or heart
disease. The new guidelines also recommend screening children whose family history is unknown or those who have other
factors for heart disease including obesity,
high blood pressure, or diabetes.83
Childhood weight problems can lead to
complications such as elevated blood pressure and cholesterol, joint problems, type
2 diabetes, gallbladder disease, asthma,
depression and anxiety.84
Severely overweight and obese children
often suffer from depression, anxiety disorders, isolation from their peers, low
self-esteem, and eating disorders.85
The number of fat cells a person has is
determined by late adolescence; overweight and obese children can lose weight,
but they do not lose the extra fat cells.86
Young girls who are overweight or
obese suffer a variety of significant health
sequelae, including menstrual disturbances
such as early onset menstruation, and are
more likely to suffer from polycystic ovary
syndrome (PCOS).87
OBESITY AND PREGNANCY
There is a growing body of evidence documenting the links between maternal health
conditions, such as obesity and chronic diseases, and increased risks before, during,
and after birth.88
Many pregnant women are overweight,
obese, or have diabetes, all of which can have
negative effects on the fetus, as well as the
mother. According to CDC, in 2002 approximately 50 percent of women of child-bearing
age (between 18 and 44) were either overweight or obese; 3 percent experienced high
blood pressure and 9 percent had diabetes.89
Not only are obesity and chronic diseases
unsafe for the mother and the fetus, but
treatment and hospital stays are more expensive and complicated for pregnant women
who are obese. CDC and Kaiser Permanente
Northwest Center for Health Research found
in a recent study that obesity during pregnancy is associated with an increased use of
health care services and longer hospital
stays.90 The study, which consisted of over
13,000 pregnancies, found that obese women
required more outpatient medications, were
given more obstetrical ultrasounds, were less
likely to see nurse midwives or nurse practitioners in favor of physicians, and Cesarean
delivery rates were 45.2 percent for
extremely obese women, compared with
21.3 percent for women of normal weight.91
C. OBESITY AND PHYSICAL INACTIVITY
U.S. GUIDELINES FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Recommendations from the U.S.
Recommendations from CDC93
92
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Adults
Adults
To reduce the risk of chronic disease, engage
in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity
physical activity on most days of the week.
To help manage body weight and prevent
unhealthy weight gain, engage in about 60
minutes of moderate-to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week.
To sustain weight loss, engage in at least
60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate intensity physical activity.
Include cardiovascular conditioning,
stretching, and resistance or calisthenics.
Children
Engage in at least 60 minutes of physical
activity daily.
Engage in a minimum of 30 minutes of
moderate-intensity physical activity per
day (such as brisk walking) most days of
the week; or
Engage in a minimum of 20 minutes of
vigorous-intensity physical activity (such
as jogging or running) 3 days a week
Two days a week incorporate strength
training into routine such as weight lifting
to maintain and increase muscle strength
and endurance.
Children94
Children should engage in at least 60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity
most days of the week, preferably daily.
27
TRENDS IN PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Adults:
Currently, more than 22 percent of adult
Americans say they do not engage in any
physical activity.95
More than half of adults report they do not
participate in CDC’s recommended level of
physical activity, which includes either 30
minutes or more of moderate physical
activity a day for 5 or more days per week,
or 20 minutes or more of vigorous physical
activity a day for 3 or more days per
week.96 The minimum level of recommended activity is equivalent to walking 2
miles at a pace of 3 to 4 miles per hour.97
Sixty percent of adults are not sufficiently
active to achieve health benefits.98
Participating in leisure time physical activity
declines as age increases.99
Women are less likely to engage in moderate or vigorous physical activity.100
African American and Hispanic adults are
less likely to be physically active than white
adults.101
Youth:
At age 9, children engaged in moderate-tovigorous physical activity (MVPA) approximately 3 hours per day on both weekends
and weekdays, according to a July 2008
study published in the Journal of the
American Medical Association. However, by
age 15 years, adolescents were only engaging in MVPA for 49 minutes per weekday
and 35 minutes per weekend day.102
Nationwide, 35 percent of high school students met the recommended levels of
physical activity, which is doing any kind of
physical activity that increased their heart
rate and made them breathe hard some of
the time for a total of at least 60 minutes
per day on 5 or more days during the past
7 days before the survey.103
Nearly 25 percent of high school students
did not participate in 60 or more minutes
of any kind of physical activity that
increased their heart rate and made them
breathe hard some of the time on any day
during the 7 days before the survey.104
Only 54 percent of high school students had
physical education class at least once a week;
only 30 percent had daily physical education.105
Nearly 25 percent of high school students
played video or computer games or used a
computer for something other than school
work for 3 or more hours per day on an
average school day.106
35 percent of high school students
watched television 3 or more hours on an
average school day.107
“EXERCISE IS MEDICINE” INITIATIVE
“. . . (M)ore and more Americans will hear from a voice they trust that exercise is
important, exercise is medicine. Indeed, exercise is not an option, but a necessary,
active, direct way that people can maintain good health, avoid illness, improve the
quality of their lives, reduce their health care costs and extend their life expectancy.”
— Ronald Davis, M.D., president of the American Medical Association108
In November 2007, the American College of
Sports Medicine and the American Medical
Association came together in an effort to
increase physical activity among Americans.
The initiative, known as “Exercise is Medicine,”
is centered on the theory of including exercise
and physical activity as a prescription from
physician to patient. Exercise and physical
activity are considered integral parts of an
overall health plan, and are key components of
a health plan designed to prevent chronic diseases and improve quality of life.
28
A few goals of the initiative include:
Increase research and studies dedicated to
examining the effects of fitness and physical activity on health.
Create a system whereby physicians are
able to refer patients to a “fitness specialist” and get reimbursed for their services.
Educate physicians of all specialties about
screening patients for fitness and physical
activity levels.
D. WEIGHT BIAS AND QUALITY OF LIFE
A number of studies have reported an association between overweight and obesity and poorer quality of life. According to a Yale University study, weight discrimination was reported by
7 percent of adults in 1995-1996, and that percentage rose to 12 percent in 2004-2006.109
Research has shown discrimination against people with obesity in several areas, including the
hiring process, in the workplace, among medical professionals, and in educational institutions.
Weight Bias In Employment
A 2007 study of more than 2800 adults
found that overweight adults were 12
times more likely to report weight-based
employment discrimination, obese persons
were 37 times more likely, and severely
obese adults were 100 times more likely.110
Compared with job applicants with the same
qualifications, obese applicants are rated more
negatively and are less likely to be hired.111
Overweight people earn 1 percent to 6
percent less than non-overweight people
in comparable positions.112
Weight Bias in Health Care
Self-report studies show that doctors view
obese patients as lazy, lacking in self-control, non-compliant, unintelligent, weakwilled, and dishonest.113
Sixty-nine percent of overweight people
report having been stigmatized by doctors.114
Weight Bias in Education
Teachers view overweight students as untidy,
more emotional, less likely to succeed on
homework, and more likely to have family
problems. They also have lower expectations for overweight students.115,116
Obese students are significantly less likely
to be accepted to college despite comparable academic records.117
Physical and Emotional Consequences
of Weight Bias
Research shows that obese youth who
are victimized by peers because of their
weight are more likely to have suicidal
thoughts and engage in suicidal
behaviors.118
Overweight young people who are targets
of weight teasing are more likely to
engage in unhealthy weight control and
binge eating, and they are less likely to
participate in physical activity.119
In a study of more than 2,400 overweight
and obese adults, 79 percent reported
that they coped with weight bias by
eating more.120
Overweight and obese adults are more
likely to avoid, cancel, or put off important
health appointments.121,122,123
Obese people report significantly greater
disability due to body pain than patients
with other chronic medical conditions,
with the exception of migraine sufferers.124
One study found that obese children were
5-and-a-half times more likely to have a
poor quality of life than their healthy
counterparts. Severely obese children
even had a slightly lower quality of life
than children undergoing chemotherapy.125
29
E. NUTRITION: THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ENERGY BALANCE
DIETARY NUTRITION GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS126
Key Recommendations
Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods
and beverages within and among the basic
food groups while picking foods that limit
the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
Eat more dark green vegetables, orange
vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains,
and low-fat milk and milk products.
Eat less refined grains, total fats, added
sugars, and calories.
Specific
Recommendations for
Adults
Consume 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups
of vegetables per day for a 2,000-calorie
intake.
30
Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of
whole-grain products per day. At least half of
grain intake should come from whole grains.
Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or
low-fat milk or milk products.
Increase dietary intake of calcium, potassium,
fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and E.
Specific Recommendations for
Children and Adolescents
At least half of grains consumed should be
whole-grain. Children 2 to 8 years old
should consume 2 cups per day of fat-free
or low-fat milk or milk products and children 9 and up should drink 3 cups per day.
Increase dietary intake of calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E.
AMERICANS’ UNHEALTHY EATING HABITS
Obesity is the result of a chronic energy imbalance: people who suffer from overweight and
obesity consume more calories than they burn off in physical activity. Efforts to encourage
people to change eating habits, however, are as complex as trying to motivate people to be
more physically active.
Healthy nutrition, as with physical activity, has a positive effect on people’s health no matter
how much they weigh. According to an article published by the National Institute for Health
Care Management, “for most Americans, a healthy diet means: smaller portions (fewer calories, minimal saturated and ‘trans’ fats, few sweets and low fiber carbohydrates (think
desserts and sodas), and more fruits and vegetables.”127
Instead, the American diet has skewed towards large portion sizes that are high in fat and
calories. Some changes in the eating habits of Americans over the past few decades include:
More calories
Adults consumed approximately 300 more
calories daily in 2002 than they did in
1985.128
Women aged 20-74 consumed nearly 22
percent more calories in 1999-2000 than
they did in 1971-1974; men consumed
nearly 7 percent more calories.129
Adolescent females aged 12-15 consumed
approximately 4 percent more calories in
1999-2000 than they did in 1971-1974;
16- to 19-year old females consumed
approximately 15 percent more.130
Bigger portion sizes
A study in the Journal of the American
Medical Association examined the rise in
portion sizes and found that from 19771998, portion sizes for selected popular
food items and overall energy intake
increased for foods purchased in restaurants or fast food establishments and for
foods prepared in the home.131
Fewer fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains
A 2003 USDA report examining American
food consumption patterns called
America’s per capita fruit consumption
“woefully low” and limited to a small
range of fruit options, and that vegetable
consumption “tells the same story.”132
Per capita grain consumption has risen
nearly 50 percent since the early 1970s,
but whole grain consumption has
dropped.133
More sugar
“Added sugar” consumption is nearly 3
times the USDA recommended intake.134
Average consumption of added sugars
increased 22 percent from the early 1980s
to 2000.135
More dietary fat
Americans consumed an average of 600
calories worth of added fats per person
per day in 2000.136
A drop in milk consumption and a
large increase in soda and fruit juice
consumption
Milk consumption dropped 39 percent
from 1977 to 2001 for children aged 6-11
while consumption of soda rose 137 percent, fruit juice rose 54 percent, and fruit
drink rose 69 percent.137,138
A major increase in eating out
In 1975, approximately 25 percent of food
spending was in restaurants; by 2004, this
figure had risen to 42 percent.139
Spending in fast food restaurants grew
over 18 times (from $6 billion to $110 billion) in the past 3 decades.
In 1970, there were approximately 30,000
fast-food restaurants in the United States.;
in 2001, there were approximately 222,000.
Children ate out at fast-food and other
restaurants nearly 3 times more in 1996
than they did in 1977.
In 2004, 63 percent of children aged 1-12
ate out at a restaurant 1-3 times per week.140
31
PORTION DISTORTION
20 YEARS AGO
TODAY
Coffee with whole milk and sugar
Mocha with steamed milk and syrup
8-ounce serving size
16-ounce serving size
45 calories
350 calories
Difference: 305 calories
Muffin
Muffin
1.5 ounce serving size
4 ounce serving size
210 calories
500 calories
Difference: 290 calories
Pepperoni Pizza
2 slices
500 calories
Pepperoni Pizza
2 slices
850 calories
Difference: 350 calories
Chicken Caesar Salad
Chicken Caesar Salad
1 1/2-cup serving size
3 1/2-cup serving size
390 calories
790 calories
Difference: 400 Calories
Popcorn
Popcorn
5-cup serving size
11-cup serving size
270 calorie
630 calories
Difference: 360 Calories
Chicken Stir Fry
2-cup serving size
435 calories
Chicken Stir Fry
4 1/2 cup serving size
865 calories
Difference: 430 Calories
Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Initiative, Portion Distortion II Interactive Quiz. Accessed at:
http://hp2010.nhlbihin.net/portion/index.htm
FOOD COST AND PORTION SIZES
A recent Washington Post article reported
that many restaurants are trimming down
portion sizes.141 While the change is intended
to boost restaurants’ profits, there is potential that it also could have positive long-term
health outcomes. With an increase in gasoline
and food costs and current public concern
over a potential recession, restaurants need-
32
ed to come up with ideas to continue turning
a profit. One of the main ways restaurants
are adjusting is by reducing portion sizes,
often times without decreasing the cost to
the consumer. Restaurants are using various
“tricks” such as using smaller plates and
lighter forks to make the reduced portions
look and feel more like the old portion sizes.
THE ART OF SUPERSIZING
In the mid-1960s David Wallerstein managed a
chain of movie theaters in Texas and was constantly trying to find a way to increase profits.
Wallerstein tried different ways -- 2-for-1 popcorn sales and other food and beverage combinations -- but nothing worked. He eventually
realized that customers were reluctant to buy 2
of anything because that would appear gluttonous.142 Then he decided to rethink portion sizes.
Wallerstein took his theory to Ray Kroc, the
founder of McDonalds, and persuaded him to
serve bigger portions. After setting up video
surveillance and watching customers, Kroc
saw that although customers were reluctant
to order seconds, they were happy to keep
eating. The result: Supersizing.143 Wallerstein
may have been one of the first to explore the
economics of portion sizes, but he certainly
wasn’t the only one to benefit. In the 1970s,
a Coca-Cola representative tried to sell the
idea of 32-ounce cups to 7-Eleven. Although
Dennis Potts, a midlevel manager of 7-Eleven
at the time, thought people would never buy
them, he gave the idea a try -- thus creating
the still successful Big Gulp.144
Fast-food and restaurant customers have
come to associate huge quantities of food
with value, a combination that leads to an
increase in caloric consumption per individual.
A study at Pennsylvania State University found
that consumers who were given a 50-percent
larger pasta dish ate 43 percent more than
those given a smaller portion.145 Another
study reports that Americans are eating more
calories per day than they did in the 1970s.146
Some companies, such as McDonald’s and
Wendy’s, have eliminated their “Supersize”
and “Biggie” menus after criticism and negative
publicity.147 But the question remains whether
dropping these menus choices affected any real
change in the industry. A study by a professor
and dietician at New York University found
that Wendy’s original “Biggie” drink, containing
32 ounces, has been renamed simply as a
medium. A large now contains 42 ounces.148
33
F. ECONOMIC COSTS OF OBESITY
HEALTH CARE COSTS
The total cost of obesity and physical
inactivity in 2000 was estimated to be
$117 billion.149
Obesity-related annual costs for children
more than tripled between 1979 and 1999.150
A 2008 study reported that obese employees cost private employers approximately
$45 billion a year as a result of medical
expenses and excessive absenteeism.151
Obesity has been linked to a 36 percent
increase in healthcare spending, which is
presently more than smoking or drinking.152
Higher health care costs for obese and
sedentary workers signal poorer overall
health among these individuals. And given
poorer health, lower worker productivity
and increased absenteeism are more likely
among obese and physically inactive
employees.
Lower Worker Productivity and
Increased Absenteeism
Researchers found that obese workers had
183.63 lost workdays per 100 full-time
employees, compared to normal weight
workers who had 14.19 lost workdays per
100 full-time employees.153
As people’s BMI increases so do the number of sick days, medical claims and health
care costs.154
A 2004 study concluded that excessive
weight and physical inactivity negatively
impact the quality of work performed, the
quantity of work performed and overall
job performance among obese, sedentary
individuals.155
Higher Workers’ Compensation Claims
A number of studies have shown obese
workers have higher workers’ compensation
claims.156, 157, 158, 159, 160, 161
34
A 2007 study found that excessive weight
gain among employees is related to higher
amounts of workers’ compensation claims.162
Obese workers had on average 11.65 claims
per 100 full-time employees, compared to
normal weight employees who had 5.8
claims per 100-full time employees.163
The cost of obese employee workers’ compensation claims were also significantly higher. Obese employees had $51,091 in medical claims costs per 100 full-time employees, compared to only $7,503 in medical
claims costs for normal weight workers.
And obese workers had $59,178 in indemnity claims costs per 100 full-time employees,
compared to only $5,396 in indemnity
claims costs for normal weight employees.164
Occupational Health and Safety Costs
The number of severely obese (BMI ≥
40) patients quadrupled between 1986
and 2000 from one in 200 to one in 50.
The number of super-obese (BMI ≥ 50)
patients grew by a factor of 5, from one
in 2,000 to one in 400.165 Emergency
responders and health care providers
face unique challenges in transporting and
treating the heaviest patients.
A typical ambulance outfitted with equipment and 2 emergency medical technicians
(EMTs) that can transport a 400-pound
patient costs $70,000. A specially outfitted bariatric ambulance that can transport
patients weighing up to 1,000 pounds
costs $110,000.166
A standard hospital bed can hold 500
pounds and costs $1,000. A bariatric hospital bed that can hold up to 1,000 pounds
costs $4,000.167
Nearly one in 2 emergency medical technicians sustained a back injury while performing EMS duties. Most blamed lifting
extremely obese patients.168
G. THE HIGH PRICE OF FOOD
USDA is predicting that food prices will rise
4.5 percent during 2008 due to a world-wide
grain shortage, high energy costs, and a weak
U.S. dollar. Rising food prices are likely to have
a negative impact on Americans’ eating habits,
according to Carol Tucker Foreman, director
of the Consumer Federation of America. She
says middle- and low-income families may be
simultaneously pushed towards hunger and
obesity. “They will be hard pressed to buy
fresh fruits and vegetables as prices rise.
Instead, they will look to the cheapest foods
which aren’t necessarily the healthiest.”169
There is little doubt that increases in the price
of dairy goods, grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables will lead consumers to scale back on
costlier, healthy food.170 A 2007 study by
researchers at the University of Washington
found that unhealthy, high-calorie foods cost an
average of $1.76 per 1,000 calories, while lowcalorie, nutritious foods cost $18.16 per 1,000
calories.171 The study also found that unhealthy,
high-calorie foods are not only the least expensive, but also most resistant to inflation.172 As
University of Washington epidemiologist Adam
Drewnowksi, one of the study’s co-authors,
told The Philadelphia Inquirer, “fruits, vegetables, and fish are becoming luxury goods completely out of reach of many people.
Consumption of cheap food will only grow.”173
Already, rising food costs have prompted
changes at food banks and charities, government social assistance programs, and schools.
Food Banks
The U.S. economic downturn has forced more
Americans to seek food assistance. A top official at America’s Second Harvest, the nation’s
leading hunger-relief charity, told The
Washington Post that requests for food assistance from April 2007 to April 2008 are up 30
percent.174 The increased demand for food
assistance comes at a time when food contributions from farmers and grocery chains have
declined. Farmers are both able to export
more of their goods and sell certain cash crops,
such as corn and soybeans to domestic renewable energy producers. Meanwhile, grocery
chains have strengthened their inventory management leading to fewer surplus goods.175 The
pressure has gotten so bad that some charities
are asking state and local governments for help.
Federal Food Assistance Programs
According to the Congressional Budget Office,
double-digit growth in federal food and nutri-
tion programs, such as the Supplemental
Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (formerly
the Food Stamp Program) and Women, Infants
and Children (WIC) will continue through 2008
as a result of rising unemployment.176 The
number of Americans receiving food stamps is
projected to grow from 26.5 million in 2007 to
27.8 million in 2008.177 Although food stamps
provide needy Americans with a safety net,
critics contend the program hasn’t kept up with
inflation, meaning that recipients are able to
buy fewer foods with their benefits.
WIC is also facing rising demand coupled with
increasing prices for food good. WIC provides
federal grants to states for supplemental foods,
health care referrals, and nutrition education
for low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and
non-breastfeeding postpartum women, and to
infants and children up to age 5 who are found
to be at nutritional risk.178 Unlike the food
stamps program, WIC is not an entitlement
and Congress would have to approve an
increase in appropriations to avoid denying aid
to low-income mothers and children.
School Lunch Programs
Schools across the country are also dealing
with rising food prices. The cost of staple
foods including, milk, grains, produce and
meat have risen over 23 percent.179 The
Miami-Dade County Public School System
saw the price of milk rise an additional $4.5
million in the 2007-2008 school year alone.180
Rising food prices have come at a time when
schools are also being asked to prepare
healthier, lower-fat meals to help stem the
tide of childhood obesity. In many cases,
schools are being forced to cut back on more
expensive foods such as whole-grain breads
and fresh fruits and vegetables.181 According
to Kenneth Hecht, executive director of
California Food Policy Advocates, a public
policy organization dedicated to improving
the health of low-income Californians, schools
are forced to cut back on the healthier, more
costly items because school boards do not
want to lose money. “This insistence that
food service stay in the black means that revenues must be high,” he told the Committee
on Education and Labor of the U.S. House of
Representatives, which held hearings on the
subject in March 2008.182 Without an increase
in state or federal funding, he said schools will
be forced to choose less healthy, less expensive foods that they can sell for a profit, such
as sugary drinks or potato chips.
35
State Responsibilities
and Policies
I
n this section, TFAH examines trends in state legislative actions and poli-
3
SECTION
cies aimed at obesity reduction. This overview is intended to help inform
and begin an evaluation of whether these efforts are having a positive impact.
Each state identifies goals and strategies for
improving the health of its citizens. States
are undertaking a wide range of efforts to
address the obesity crisis. Since 2003, TFAH
has been reviewing these state policies. For
this year’s report, TFAH produced a supplement to F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are
Failing in America entitled, Obesity-Related
Legislative Action in States, which provides
greater detail about specific legislation. The
supplement is available on TFAH’s Web site,
www.healthyamericans.org.
This section provides an overview and update
to previous years’ analyses and includes:
A. State Obesity Plans.
B. Survey of State Chronic Disease Directors
and Directors of Health Promotion and
Education.
C. State Obesity-Related Legislation.
D. Qualitative Evaluation of State ObesityRelated Legislation.
A. STATE OBESITY PLANS
Over the past decade, the majority of states
and D.C., have added overweight and obesity to their list of important issues to
address.183 As a result, a growing number of
states have published state plans that focus
on physical activity and healthy nutrition.
Currently, 41 states have plans in place with
specific strategies and goals to lower the
prevalence of overweight, obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases in each state.
Virginia and D.C. have childhood obesity
plans, and at least 7 more have drafts of
plans in the works, which they expect to
make available to the public over the next
year or 2. (See Appendix B: Methodology
for State Obesity Plan Review.)
Each state has a unique plan, but many programs contain similar goals and means to
achieve those goals. One objective common
to almost every state is the urgency to get
people involved on all levels; this is known as
the Social-Ecological Model. This model aims
to affect behavioral change by engaging all
levels of influence -- individual, interpersonal, organizational, community, and public
policy.184 Many of the plans draw on guidance
from CDC to use policy and environmental
changes to target 6 specific behaviors:
Physical activity.
Fruit and vegetable intake.
Breastfeeding.
Consumption of sugar-sweetened
beverages.
Intake of high energy density foods.
Television viewing.
Some states focus exclusively, or to a large
extent, on childhood obesity. Generally, states
have goals to improve childhood health
through decreasing the amount of time children spend in front of the TV and other electronic entertainment devices, increasing physical activities available to all children, using
public schools to implement physical activity
37
and healthy nutrition programs, and encouraging communities to help raise healthier
children through local involvement.
While some states have more general goals
of decreasing the percentage of overweight
people in their state, others have set out
very specific goals. Utah, for instance,
expects that by 2010 the percentage of children in that state who report being overweight by 10 percent or more will decrease
from 12.3 percent to 10.8 percent.185
Developing a plan to address the problem of
overweight and obesity is an important step in
the process of implementing change, but it is
certainly not the only step. In order to turn a
plan into action, the state must secure the
appropriate funding. Unfortunately, a majority of the state plans do not address the issue
of funding, or only briefly mention the need
to secure funding. Many of the plans refer to
the need to secure resources for implementation or suggest that local organizations apply
for mini-grants, but beyond that there is no
mention of how the plan will become a reality. Fewer than 10 states include details regarding strategies for funding. New Mexico is one
of the few that includes a detailed description
of how it intends to fund the plan by linking
each objective to a funding source.
38
It is also important to include a system of
measurement to determine what the state
has accomplished, and to ensure that the
state continues to work toward the plan’s
goals. The majority of states have a surveillance and evaluation section within their
plans to ensure that programs are monitored, and the programs correlate with the
goals of the plan. One of the best ways to
monitor and evaluate a plan is through pilot
programs, which many of the states have
already instituted or intend to institute.
While all the plans suggest programs and
activities to improve health and nutrition,
20 of the plans include current rates of overweight or obesity within the state and also a
target percentage that should be reached by
a certain time. For example, one objective
of the Arkansas plan is to increase the percentage of children and adults who have a
healthy BMI. For adults, the goal is to go
from 38 percent in 2003 to 42.1 percent in
2010, and for children the goal is to go from
60 percent to 65 percent.186
Publishing a nutrition and physical activity plan
is just the first step of many that a state must
take. Implementation and follow-through are
the next, and most important, steps.
REVIEW OF STATE OBESITY PLANS — 2008
States
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.^
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho*
Illinois
Indiana*
Iowa
Kansas*
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi*
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota*
Ohio*
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee*
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia^
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Does the
state have a
strategic
plan to
combat
obesity?
Does the
plan involve
multiple
state
agencies?
Does the plan
specifically
assign roles &
responsibilities
to state
agencies?
Does the
plan contain
clear and
measurable
objectives?
Are the plan
objectives
related to
reducing
rates of
obesity?
42+DC
41+DC
29+DC
38+DC
25+DC
8+DC
41+DC
38+DC
28
Does the
Does the Does the plan Does the plan
plan link plan include
include
have a system
funding to private sector provisions
for evaluation
objectives? (business,
regarding a
and review?
industry) and healthier
community
state
groups?
workforce?
Note: States with an * have a draft obesity plan in the works. States with an ^ have childhood obesity plans.
39
B. SURVEY OF CHRONIC DISEASE DIRECTORS AND
DIRECTORS OF HEALTH PROMOTION AND EDUCATION
In order to understand which obesity prevention and reduction strategies experts
believe are most effective and important,
TFAH conducted a survey of state Chronic
Disease Directors (CDDs) and state
Directors of Health Promotion and
Education (DHPEs). CDDs and DHPEs are
state government employees who serve on
the front lines of public health in each state
by developing and implementing policies
and programs to prevent chronic disease
and promote better health.
In May 2008, the National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) and
the DHPE association distributed a survey
by email to their members. The survey was
administered through the Internet service
Survey Monkey (www.surveymonkey.com)
and was available for a period of over 3
weeks. A total of 25 CDDs and DHPEs
responded to the survey. There was a general consensus between respondents with
regards to barriers to solving the problem of
obesity, as well as what direction they would
like to see the new administration take.
1) STATE STRATEGIC PLANS TO COMBAT OBESITY
Almost two-thirds (64.3 percent) of the
respondents reported that their state currently has a strategic plan to combat obesity.
While this is a much needed and promising
step for states to take, the directors voiced a
few concerns associated with the plans,
including:
Lack of resources to implement the
strategic plan.
Recent or anticipated loss of federal
funding.
Shortage of data to measure performance
outcomes of strategic plan.
In addition, respondents noted the following limitations with implementing their
state’s obesity plans:
94 percent expressed frustration with
data limitations and problems with measuring their programs’ outcomes.
82 percent said that their state does not
have the necessary workforce to design,
implement and evaluate physical activity,
nutrition and obesity programs.
75 percent responded that their plans
have no funding linked to their strategic
obesity plan.
2) BARRIERS TO SOLVING THE PROBLEM OF OBESITY
What Are the 3 Major Barriers to Preventing and
Treating Obesity In Your State?
Lack of population health funding for health promotion and disease prevention
Lack of leadership on the issue (e.g., obesity is not a political priority,
government funds not being allocated to the issue, etc.)
Lack of research and practice-based evidence to influence policies
and programs.
Lack of skilled workforce to carry out implementation.
Unclear and inconsistent messages regarding nutrition and physical activity.
Lack of public awareness about severity of problem
40
91.3%
47.8%
43.5%
34.8%
21.7%
21.7%
The CDDs and DHPEs reported the top 3 barriers to treating obesity in each state included:
Lack of research and practice-based evidence to influence policies and programs.
Lack of funding for health promotion
and disease prevention.
Respondents also expressed concern about
lack of insurance coverage for obesity treatments, such as nutrition counseling.
Lack of leadership.
3) SUGGESTED PRIORITIES FOR THE NEXT ADMINISTRATION
The 2008 presidential election presents a
unique opportunity for public health officials
to communicate their priorities to the next
administration. TFAH asked the CDDs and
DHPEs for their recommendations for the
next administration regarding one important action the federal government should
take to address adult and childhood obesity.
Overall many of the directors had similar
ideas. The top 3 recommendations for
adults included:
Funding for all states to address obesity.
Strengthen worksite wellness programs.
Work on environmental changes, specifically improving the built environment.
In addition to funding, CDDs and DHPEs
would like to see more evidence-based
research that shows the most effective strategies for obesity reduction. Nearly half of the
respondents said that more research is
needed on individual and community-level
interventions, including policy changes.
Respondents identified 2 actions as crucial
for childhood obesity:
Increase physical activity opportunities,
specifically during the school day.
Improve nutrition in schools, homes, communities, and in advertisements directed
at children.
4) FOCUS OF NIH OBESITY PREVENTION RESEARCH AGENDA
TFAH asked CDDs and DHPEs what their
top research question would be if they could
determine the National Institute of Health’s
(NIH) research agenda for obesity. Again,
many of the respondents emphasized the
need for more evidence-based strategies for
preventing and treating obesity. In particular, respondents wanted NIH to focus on the
following questions:
How can people maintain weight loss?
Other than gastric surgery, what are the
most effective treatments for obesity?
Given our very limited resources, can we
identify the candidates for treatment that
will have the best chance for success?
How do we translate research into practice?
Instead of focusing on clinical approaches
to fighting obesity, researchers need to look
at community, worksite and school-based
approaches.
Do physical activity/physical education
requirements and high nutrition standards help students perform better in the
classroom? If there is a connection
between healthier school environments
and students’ academic performance this
could bring together public health advocates and education advocates.
What are the most effective ways to motivate and encourage people to lead
healthy, active lives? What communication messages work?
Is there evidence -- both in terms of
improved health and a return on investment -- to support coverage of prevention
services in benefits plans?
41
C. STATE OBESITY-RELATED LEGISLATION
Since 2003, TFAH has tracked state obesityrelated legislation in the following categories: school nutrition, physical education,
physical activity, and height and weight
measurements; tax policies; and litigation.
This section provides an updated summary
state obesity-related legislation enacted
between July 1, 2007 and June 30, 2008.
Additional details about the legislation can
be found in the supplement to F as in Fat:
How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America on
TFAH’s Web site.
1) SCHOOL-FOCUSED OBESITY LEGISLATION
School-based programs have been shown to
have the potential to yield positive results in
preventing and reducing obesity.187 Children
spend large amounts of time at school and in
before- and after-school programs, often
consuming as many as 2 meals and snacks in
these settings.
The more than 14,000 school districts in the
United States have primary jurisdiction for
setting local school policies. States can
establish policies or pass legislation that
affect schools, but the school districts typi-
42
cally have discretion in deciding if they will
follow them, a principle known as local control. States often try to create incentives for
following policies, such as attaching compliance rules to state funding.
Emerging school-based efforts have focused
on improving the quality of food sold in
schools, limiting sales of less nutritious foods,
improving physical education and health
education, and encouraging increased physical activity either within the school day or
through extracurricular activities.
OBESITY-RELATED STANDARDS IN SCHOOLS -- 2008
Nutritional
Standards for
School Meals
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
# of States
Nutritional
Standards for
Competitive
Foods
Limited
Access to
Competitive
Foods
25
27
18
Physical
Education
Requirements
BMI or
Health
Information
Collected
50 + D.C.
Non-Invasive
Health
Screening for
Education
Diabetes
Requirements
19
2
48 + D.C.
Receives
CDC School
Health Grants
22
Please Note: Checkmarks in chart above that are in red type represent new laws passed in 2007 or 2008.
43
SCHOOL LUNCHES
Eighteen states set nutritional standards for school lunches, breakfasts,
and snacks that are stricter than
existing USDA requirements -Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Colorado, Connecticut, Kentucky,
Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, North
Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South
Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas
and Vermont.
States that implemented new regulations
between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008,
include:
California required as a condition to
receiving funds from special grants for child
nutrition in schools, commencing in 20072008 fiscal year, school districts and schools
shall be in compliance with USDA guidelines
or the menu planning options of Shaping
Health as Partners in Education developed
by the state (SHAPE California network)
(SB 80 related bill) and prohibited from sell-
ing or serving any food item that has in any
way been deep fried, par fried, or flash fried
or sell or serve a food item containing artificial trans fat (SB 132).
Colorado established the Child Nutrition
School Lunch Protection Program to
ensure that each student in a Colorado
public school has access to a healthy lunch
at school. One objective includes increasing students’ consumption of whole grains,
fruits and vegetables, vitamins, calcium,
protein, fiber, and iron; and reduce the
consumption of sodium, cholesterol, sugar
and calories (SB08-123).
Tennessee required each local school
board to submit to the commissioner a
plan to require that availability of local
agriculture products (SB 3341).
Texas established a mandatory report
relating to reducing the amount of trans fat
in schools (HB 4062).
SCHOOL MEAL NUTRITION GUIDELINES
School meal nutrition standards do not
reflect current nutrition science and, unfortunately, are unlikely to be updated for
about 3 years. Since 1994, the Richard
Russell National School Lunch Act has
required the school lunches to meet the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).
In 2004, the Child Nutrition and WIC
Reauthorization Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-265)
required the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
to issue school nutrition guidelines that
would ensure that American schoolchildren
consume foods recommended in the most
recent DGAs. However, USDA has issued
no proposed regulations in the 3 years
since the release of the 2005 DGAs.188
Instead, after deliberating internally for
those years, USDA was unable to come to
a consensus and contracted with the
Institute of Medicine (IOM) to convene a
44
panel of experts on child nutrition. In late
2009, the IOM Committee on Nutrition
Standards for School Lunch and Breakfast
Programs is expected to provide USDA
with recommendations for updating the
school meal programs’ nutrition requirements. Once USDA receives the IOM recommendations, agency officials will then
seek to incorporate them into formal
USDA guidance, which is expected to be
issued some time in 2010. A final rule will
take even longer to be issued. This turn of
events effectively postpones the update of
school meal nutrition standards by 5 years
beyond when they were due. Given the
fact that school meal nutrition standards
lack standards for sodium, trans fat, and
whole grains, and that the fruit and vegetable content is too low, this delay is of
considerable public health concern.
In the meantime, USDA is encouraging states
to gradually begin implementing 2005 DGAs
within school meal programs by:189
Increasing the amount and variety of
whole-grain products.
Increasing the availability of fruits and vegetables and ensuring that school meals
offer both a fruit and a vegetable.
Offering only skim or 1 percent low-fat
milk in schools.
Reducing sodium content in all meals.
Providing fiber at levels that reflect the
DGAs.
Cutting cholesterol levels in meals so that
over a week students consume less than
100 mg of cholesterol at lunch and less
than 75 mg at breakfast.
Minimizing the use of trans fats.
Until USDA releases new guidelines incorporating the DGAs into school lunch menu planning, states are relying on the School Meals
Initiative for Healthy Children (SMI), which
requires schools to offer meals that provide no
more than 30 percent of total calories from fat
and less than 10 percent from saturated fat.
The SMI also requires school lunches to provide adequate levels of certain nutrients.
In 2007, USDA published findings from its
third School Nutrition Dietary Assessment
Study (SNDA-III).190 SNDA-III is based on
data collected in the spring semester of the
2004-2005 school year and provides a snapshot of the school lunch and breakfast programs. At the time, states primarily were
using the SMI to guide meal planning,
although in the years since many state agencies and schools have established nutrition
policies that exceed SMI guidelines as they
seek to address concerns about the childhood obesity epidemic. SNDA-III found:
More than two-thirds of school lunch programs offered and served lunches that met
SMI standards for protein, vitamins, and
minerals, while only 20 percent of schools
offered and served lunches that met SMI
standards for fat.
Ninety-three percent of elementary
schools and 86 percent of secondary
schools offered students the choice of a
low-fat lunch.
More than half of the schools (58 percent)
offered students some type of fresh fruit
and/or raw vegetable every day.
Eighty-three percent of schools offered
low-fat, one percent milk.
Less than one-third of schools (30 percent) used nutrient-based standards for
school meals, a system that ensures meals
meet age- and grade-appropriate nutrition
standards.
45
COMPETITIVE FOODS
Competitive foods are defined as foods sold
at the same time as National School Lunch
Program foods are available.191 These foods
are sold in vending machines, a la carte lines,
and school stores.
Twenty-five states have nutritional standards for competitive foods sold ala
carte, in vending machines, in school
stores, or in school bake sales -- Alabama,
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut,
Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana,
Maine, Maryland, Mississippi, Nevada, New
Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina,
Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and
West Virginia.
States that implemented new regulations
between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008,
include:
California Commencing July 1, 2009,
schools or school district are prohibited,
through a vending machine or school food
service establishment during school hours
and up to 1/2 hour before and after school
hours, from making available to elementary
or middle school pupils a food containing
artificial trans fat and would prohibit the use
of artificial trans fat in the preparation of a
food item served to those pupils (SB 490).
North Carolina sets forth a wellness pilot
for state employees as well as directs the
Board of Education to establish statewide
nutrition standards for school meals, a la
carte foods and beverages, and items served
in the After School Snack Program administered by the Department of Public
Instruction and child nutrition programs of
local school administrative units. The nutrition standards will promote gradual changes
to increase fruits and vegetables, increase
whole grain products, and decrease foods
high in total fat, trans fat, saturated fat, and
sugar. To start in elementary schools followed by middle and high schools (HB
1473).
Oregon provides restrictions on the nutritional content and caloric load of certain foods
and beverages sold in schools during specified
times of school operation (HB 2650).
Pennsylvania directs the Department of
Education to establish a School Nutrition
Incentive Program. The program shall provide a supplemental school lunch and breakfast reimbursement to any school in a local
46
education agency that has adopted and
implemented the Pennsylvania Department
of Education’s Nutrition Standards for
Competitive Foods.192 The standards apply
to food, snacks, and beverages sold a la
carte, in vending machines, at fundraisers, at
school stores, and those served in classroom
parties and holiday celebrations. (H.B. 842).
Twenty-seven states limit when and
where competitive foods may be sold
beyond federal requirements -- Alabama,
Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado,
Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii,
Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine,
Maryland, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York,
North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South
Carolina, Texas, and West Virginia.
States that implemented new regulations
between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008,
include:
California law mandates that as of July 1,
2009, schools or school district are prohibited,
through a vending machine or school food
service establishment during school hours and
up to 1/2 hour before and after school hours,
from making available to elementary or middle school pupils a food containing artificial
trans fat and would prohibit the use of artificial
trans fat in the preparation of a food item
served to those pupils (SB 490).
Oregon law requires that all food and beverage items sold in public K-12 grade schools
must at minimum meet nutrition standards.
Those standards apply to food and beverage
items sold in a school at all times during the
regular or extended school day when the
activities in the school are primarily under
the control of the school district board. This
includes, but is not limited to, the time
before or after classes are in session and the
time when the school is being used for activities such as clubs, yearbook, band or choir
practice, student government, drama
rehearsals or child care programs. The standards required by this section do not apply
to food and beverage items sold in a school
at times when the school is being used for
school-related events or nonschool-related
events for which parents and other adults
are a significant part of an audience or are
selling food or beverage items before, during
or after the event, such as a sporting event
or another interscholastic activity, a play or a
band or choir concert (HB 2650).
CONCERNS ABOUT COMPETITIVE FOODS IN SCHOOLS
Competitive foods are defined as foods sold at the same
time as National School Lunch Program foods are available.193
These foods are sold in vending machines, a la carte lines,
and school stores. Although competitive foods sometimes
include fruits and vegetables, more often than not they are
high in fat, sugar, and salt, which increases the likelihood of
over-consumption of calories and unhealthy weight gain.194
According to USDA’s School Nutrition Dietary Assessment
Study III (SNDA-III), the prevalence of competitive foods is
widespread. Approximately one-third of elementary schools
and close to two-thirds of middle and high schools had foods
or beverages other than milk for sale through vending
machines, a la carte, and/or school stores during the lunch
period.195 Vending machines, which are often stocked with
chips, candy, and cookies, were available to students in more
than 80 percent of middle schools and 97 percent of high
schools.196 A separate study published in the journal Pediatrics
found that food items sold a la carte were found in 71 percent
of elementary schools, 92 percent of middle schools, and 93
percent of high schools. Of these schools, almost 80 percent
provided unhealthy food items in their a la carte options.197
In addition to the diet-related health risks, USDA has highlighted a number of other concerns related to competitive foods198:
Impact on school meal programs: The increase in
competitive food sales and accompanying decrease in student participation in the National School Lunch Program
have implications for the overall viability of the program.
Declining participation results in decreased cash and commodity support from USDA for school meals. The reduction in federal funds may also contribute to less interest
on the part of schools in maintaining quality school meal
programs that meet set nutritional standards, undermining the substantial federal investment in programs to provide healthy meals to children.
Stigmatization of school meal programs: USDA has
expressed concern that the National School Lunch
Program is often viewed as just for low-income children
rather than being available to all children. Often, affluent
children spend their lunch money on items from vending
machines and a la carte lines; these foods and beverages
tend to be more expensive than the school meal.
A mixed message: When children are taught in the
classroom about good nutrition but are surrounded by
vending machines, snack bars, school stores, and a la
carte foods of poor nutritional quality, they receive the
message that good nutrition does not actually matter and
is therefore not important.199
Despite the low nutritional value of competitive foods, many
schools sell these products to gain much needed revenue.
A 2005 report by the U.S. Government Accountability
Office (GAO) found that 9 out of every 10 public schools in
the United States offered competitive foods to their students, and almost 30 percent of public high schools earned
more than $125,000 from competitive food sales.200
A 2007 review of school nutrition policies regarding competitive foods by the Center for Science in the Public
Interest (CSPI) found that while states have been strengthening their school nutrition policies over the past 10 years,
“results show that the changes occurring at the state level,
while positive, are fragmented, incremental, and not happening quickly enough to reach all schools in a timely
way.”201 The report noted that while USDA sets detailed
nutrition standards for federally subsidized school lunches,
USDA’s policy for competitive foods is “woefully out of
date.” In fact, although USDA can regulate the quality and
kinds of food sold in school cafeterias during lunch hours, it
does not have the authority to regulate foods sold either
outside of the cafeteria or outside of meal times, such as
food sold in school stores, vending machines, fundraisers,
etc. Congress would need to pass a law to allow USDA to
set nutrient standards for items sold outside of the cafeteria
in schools. However, USDA has full authority to update its
nutrition standards for foods sold in the cafeteria outside of
school meals (e.g., through the a la carte line), and since
USDA has not updated this standard since 1979 it is
extremely out of date from a nutrition science perspective.
A 2007 IOM report, Nutrition Standards for Foods in
Schools, does provides nutrition standards for competitive
foods, both those sold in vending machines and in the cafeteria a la carte lines. The report states that while federal school
meal programs should be the primary source of foods and
beverages at schools, if competitive foods are available, they
should “consist of nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
and nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products.”202
Proceeds from competitive food sales are often used to pay
for special activities or items not covered by the school’s
budget. As a result, there have been a number of challenges
when local schools or parent-teacher associations have
sought to make sure only healthy foods are sold in schools.
The biggest challenge results from the fear of decreased
revenue from competitive foods sold a la carte, in vending
machines, and in school stores creating a financial hardship
for the school.203
A 2008 review of the literature, however, found that school
districts’ fears about lost revenues due to changes in competitive food offerings were unfounded. In fact, in some
schools, there was increased student participation in the
school lunch program -- both from students paying full price
for meals and from students receiving free or partially subsidized meals -- which may have compensated for any revenue losses in snack sales.204
47
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
The 2005 IOM report Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance recommended that state and local education authorities
and schools should ensure that all children
and youth participate in a minimum of 30
minutes of moderate to vigorous physical
activity during the school day.205
Every state has some form of requirements for physical education for students,
however, these requirements are often limited
or not enforced and many of the programs
are inadequate with respect to quality.
States that implemented new regulations
between July 1, 2007, and June 30, 2008,
include:
Arkansas added K-6th grade physical activity set at a) 60 minutes per week of physical
education and b) 90 minutes of physical
activity per week, which may include daily
recess and/or physical education instruction.
Grades 5-8 requires 60 minutes of physical
education with no added requirement for
physical activity; and for 9-12 grades, 1/2
unit of physical education is required for
graduation (HB1039).
California clarified that a pupil may be
granted exemption from courses in physical education if the pupil has met at least 5
of the 6 standards of the physical performance test (SB 602).
Colorado included the addition of school
district wellness programs (HB 08-1224).
Florida mandated 30 minutes of physical
education per day for grades 6-8 (changed
from encouraged). Each district board shall
provide 150 minutes of physical education
each week for students in grades K-5 (SB
608). Also updated the contents of a school
district’s written physical education policy to
add details concerning the benefits of physical education, and the availability of one-onone counseling concerning such benefits.
Provides for the conduction of at least 30
consecutive minutes of physical education
for students in K-6 and requires a one class
period per day of physical education for one
semester for students in grades 6 through 8.
Also provides waivers (SB 610).
Illinois law provided that an approved
waiver or modification to a physical education mandate remain in effect for no longer
than two school years. The waiver can be
renewed, but no more than twice. The
48
new provision will require school systems
to periodically review the waivers put into
place, as opposed to allowing them to continue without review (HB 1839).
Louisiana implemented the position of a
health and physical education coordinator by
the Department of Education (Act No.180).
Maryland established a task force on student
physical fitness in State Public Schools (SB
955). Also now requires county boards of
education to ensure that students with disabilities have opportunities in specified physical
education and athletic programs (HB 1411).
Oklahoma increased P.E. requirement in
elementary schools from 60 minutes to
120 minutes each week, beginning with
2008-2009 school year (SB 1186).
Oregon every public school student in
kindergarten through grade 8 shall participate
in physical education for the entire school
year. Students in kindergarten through grade
5 shall participate in physical education for at
least 150 minutes during each school week.
Students in grades 6 through 8 shall participate in physical education for at least 225
minutes during each school week (HB 3141).
Texas students below sixth grade are
required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year as part of
the district’s physical education curriculum or
through structured activity during recess.
Beginning with the 2008-09 school year, students in grades 6 through 8 will be required
to participate in daily physical activity for at
least 30 minutes for at least four semesters
during those grade levels (SB 530).
Virginia required local school boards to provide a physical fitness program with a goal of
150 minutes per week for all students (HB
242).
West Virginia implemented a wellness
policy that states that school and district
processes should include a focus on developing ethical and responsible character,
personal dispositions that promote personal wellness through planned daily physical
activity and healthy eating habits consistent
with high nutritional guidelines (SB 595).
Only 2 states -- Colorado and
Oklahoma -- do not require schools to
provide health education.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ADULT BMI
A 2008 study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins
Bloomberg School of Public Health found that high school
students who participate in physical education 5 days a week
are 28 percent less likely to become overweight as adults.206
2 percent of high schools required P.E. daily for entire
year;
The Institute of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, and the American Academy of
Pediatrics all recommend that students in all grade levels
engage in daily physical education.207,208,209 The reality, however, is that only 54 percent of high school students attended
PE classes in an average week when they were in school and
only 30 percent attended P.E. classes daily. In addition, participation in P.E. class declines as students grow older,
although the reason for the decline is more likely related to
school curriculum requirements.210,211 According to the 2006
School Health Policies and Programs study212:
3 percent of high schools required P.E. for 3 days per
week for entire year; and
7 percent of high schools required P.E. daily for half a
year;
9 percent of high schools required P.E. for 3 days per
week for half a year.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education
(NASPE) recommends that schools provide 150 minutes of
instruction of physical education for elementary school children, and 225 minutes for middle and high school students
per week for the entire school year.213
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT
The positive effects of physical activity on brain function are
well documented with a number of studies showing that
aerobic activity improves cognition and performance.214
Moderate and vigorous exercise increases the flow of blood
to the brain, which has a stimulating effect.215 Researchers
speculate that this in turn makes schoolchildren more likely
to pay attention in class during the school day than children
who do not get any physical activity.216 And, in fact, there is
a growing body of evidence that suggests physical activity is
related to academic achievement.217
Of 14 published studies investigating the link between participation in physical activity and academic performance, 11
found that regular participation in physical activity is associated with improved academic performance.218
The following are some highlights from recent research on
physical activity, physical education, and academic performance:
A 2008 study by researchers at CDC found that higher
levels of physical education in school were associated
with an academic benefit among girls.219 There was, however, no association between the 2 for boys. Similar
results were reported in a 1996 study of French-speaking
Canadian schoolchildren.220 Some have suggested that
schoolgirls are less physically active than schoolboys and
thus are more affected by the increase in physical activity.
A 2007 study found that children who performed well on
2 measures of physical fitness tended to score higher on
state reading and math exams, regardless of gender or
socioeconomic status.221
A 2006 study analyzed data from nearly 12,000 teens across
the United States to examine the relationship between physical activity and academic performance. Adolescents who
reported either participating in school activities such as P.E.
and team sports, or playing sports with their parents, were
20 percent more likely than those teens who did not engage
in physical activity to earn an “A” in math or English.222
There is also ample evidence that daily physical education
does not adversely affect academic performance. Many
school systems have eliminated P.E. or severely curtailed its
offering to focus on core academic subjects that students are
tested on as part of the No Child Left Behind Act; this is
based on the assumption that sacrificing P.E. will give students
and teachers more time to prepare for standardized tests and
thereby boost the schools’ scores on those tests. But in fact,
a number of studies show that students who spend time in
P.E. or other school-based physical activities increased or
maintained their grades and scores on standardized tests even
though they received less classroom time.223 A 2006 study of
sixth graders found that students enrolled in P.E. had similar
grades and standardized test scores as students who were
not enrolled in P.E., despite receiving nearly an hour less of
daily classroom instruction on core academic subjects.224
The fact that investigators have concluded that, at the very
least, extra time spent in P.E. does not hurt academic
achievement is significant. Researchers are hopeful that this
finding may persuade some school districts that reinstating
P.E. classes need not come at the expense of their pupils’
academic performance.
49
STUDENT HEALTH SCREENINGS
Seventeen states have passed Body Mass Index (BMI)
screening requirements in schools OR legislation
requiring weight-related assessments other than BMI.
States with BMI screening requirements: Arkansas,
California, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Missouri, New York,
Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and West Virginia.
States with weight-related screening requirements:
Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, and Texas.
States that implemented new restrictions between July 1,
2007 and June 30, 2008 include:
New York passed new legislation that addresses BMI
assessment through health certificates in schools as directed
by Commissioner of Health. Parents may refuse to be
included in the survey. Each school district shall provide
commissioner of Health with any information for purposes
of an obesity report (SB2108).
Rhode Island enacted a new law that establishes the
state’s healthy weight pilot program to be implemented in
several cities and towns. The program will incorporate a
combination of physical activity and nutrition plans that aim
to encourage healthy weight and weight management in
children. Funding for the program will come from federal
grants, funds allocated to the state for the purpose of combating obesity and other sources deemed appropriate by
the legislature (HB 5900).
Texas passed new legislation that says school districts must
assess the physical fitness levels of all students in grades 3
through 12 (SB 530).
Two states have enacted legislation requiring screening
students for risk of type 2 diabetes -- California and Illinois.
WEST VIRGINIA’S CARDIAC PROJECT
The Coronary Artery Risk Detection in Appalachian
Communities (CARDIAC) Project was launched 10 years ago
in an effort to combat high levels of cardiovascular disease
that afflict West Virginians -- adults and children -- in large
numbers. The school-based prevention program started out
in 3 counties in West Virginia and has since expanded to all of
the state’s 55 counties. In addition to providing health
screenings to elementary school children across the state, the
CARDIAC Project mails a comprehensive health report to the
children’s families. The detailed report not only contains
information on how to interpret the screening results, but
includes nutrition and physical activity recommendations for
children and families.225
According to recent data from the project, the intervention is
working. In the 2006-2007 school year, 27.7 percent of fifth
graders were obese based on BMI screening. That number
dropped to 25.8 percent in the 2007-2008 school year.226 Children
in other grades experienced declines in overweight and obesity as
well, with the percentage of obese kindergartners falling from 20
percent to 17 percent. Among second-graders, the percentage of
overweight students dropped from 19 percent to 15 percent.227
PHILADELPHIA’S SCHOOL-BASED OBESITY PREVENTION INTERVENTION
A May 2008 article in Pediatrics, reported the results of a
school-based intervention at 5 elementary schools in inner-city
Philadelphia. The School Nutrition Policy Initiative focused on
the prevention of overweight and obesity among children in
grades 4 though 6 over a 2-year period. The program included 5 components: School self-assessment; nutrition education;
nutrition policy; social marketing; and parent outreach.228
The school self-assessment looked at environmental issues and
focused on developing an action plan for change. Among the
recommendations: Limit the use of food as a reward; limit the
use of unhealthy food for fundraising (e.g., bake sales); promote
active recess; and serve breakfast in classrooms. School staff
received approximately 10 hours of training in nutrition education in order to enable them to provide 50 hours of food and
nutrition education per school year. School food service programs removed all sodas, sugary drinks, and snacks that did not
50
meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The program used
social marketing to increase the consumption of healthy foods
and promote active lifestyles. Finally, the program included a
family outreach component to encourage parents and students
to purchase healthy snacks, limit TV viewing and be more active.
At the start of the program, about 40 percent of the 1,349 students in grades 4 through 6 were overweight or obese. Over
the course of the 2-year program, there was a 50 percent
reduction in the number of children who became overweight.
In the control schools, 15 percent of the children became overweight compared to 7.5 percent in the intervention schools.
There were no differences observed in the number of children
who were obese. This, coupled with the fact that 7.5 percent
of students in the intervention schools still became overweight
suggests that stronger programs may be needed.
2) COMMUNITY-FOCUSED OBESITY LEGISLATION
States have also enacted obesity-related legislation aimed at the general population. These
actions include tax policies, litigation restrictions, and planning and transportation policies.
OBESITY RELATED STATE INITIATIVES -- 2008
Has Snack Taxes
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
# of States
Has a CDC State-Based
Nutrition & Physical
Activity Program
Receives
STEPS Grant
Has Limited
Liability Laws
17 + D.C.
23
3
24
51
SNACK TAXES
One way many states have tried to mitigate
the obesity epidemic is by taxing junk foods
in an attempt to reduce people’s consumption of these products.
Seventeen states and D.C. currently have
laws that tax foods of low nutritional
value:229 Arkansas, California, D.C., Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri,
New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington,
and West Virginia.
These taxes, also known as “Twinkie Taxes,”
and “fat taxes,” are highly controversial.
While proponents of the taxes argue that a tax
on junk food could be used to fund a healthy
eating and nutrition information campaign,
opponents cite several problems.230 First, as
health economist Eric A. Finkelstein notes,
these taxes penalize the poor “because people
on lower incomes spend a higher proportion
of their income on food, [therefore] this type
of tax is largely regressive in nature.”231 In
addition, the amount of taxes levied on junk
foods is so small that it is unlikely to serve as a
deterrent to people. Finally, many states that
have passed a version of a snack tax do not
always use the revenues to combat obesity.
Instead, snack tax revenues are used to fund a
wide variety of state activities.
Despite these problems, a growing number
of Americans support the idea of taxing
unhealthy foods as a means to combat obesity and promote healthy nutrition. According
to researchers at Yale University’s Rudd
Center for Food Policy and Obesity, the
number of Americans who support taxing
unhealthy foods to subsidize healthy foods
has risen from 33 percent in 2001 to 40 percent in 2003 and 54 percent in 2004.232
Researchers at Yale University report that
national junk food taxes could generate over
$1.8 billion per year from the following items:
A 1-cent per 12-ounce soft drink tax
would generate $1.5 billion per year.
A 1-cent per pound of candy tax would
generate $70 million per year.
The proposed potato chip tax would generate $54 million per year.
Proposed taxes on other snack foods, fats and
oils would generate $190 million per year.233
ELIMINATING TAXES ON HEALTHY FOODS
In addition to looking at imposing a snack
tax on unhealthy foods, the Mississippi
Health Advocacy Program, has argued that
states such as Mississippi, which have existing grocery taxes for all food items, should
remove the tax on healthy foods.234
Mississippi is currently one of 5 states that
taxes foods purchased for home consumption. The group argues that eliminating
the 7 percent sales tax on healthy foods,
while maintaining the tax on junk foods
would achieve 2 goals. First, it would
make healthy foods -- which studies have
52
shown are 10 times as expensive as
unhealthy, high-calorie foods -- more
affordable.235 Second, by eliminating the
tax only on healthy foods, the state of
Mississippi would continue to receive revenues from the purchase of unhealthy
foods. The main challenge facing legislators and policy makers who may want to
consider this approach is how to define
“healthy foods.” The Mississippi Health
Advocacy Program recommends convening
a panel of nutritionists and dieticians to
define healthy foods.
MENU LABELING
Menu labeling -- the posting of nutrition information on menus and menu boards -- is a policy that more states and localities are considering each year. Supporters of nutrition labeling
at fast-food and chain restaurants, including
the American Medical Association, want labeling that is easy to understand and which
includes the total calories, fat, saturated fat,
trans fat and sodium content of menu items.236
Seventeen states and Puerto Rico, as well as
numerous local governments, introduced legislation either in 2007 or 2008 to require restaurants to post nutrition information alongside
their menu items.237,238 The states that consid-
ered menu labeling legislation include: Arizona,
California, Connecticut, D.C. Hawaii, Illinois,
Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts,
Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, New
York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont and
Washington.239 In California, menu-labeling legislation passed both chambers of the state legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold
Schwarzenegger (R) on Oct. 14, 2007.240
Supporters are considering reintroducing a
menu-labeling bill in 2008. At the local level,
Seattle, New York City and San Francisco have
menu-labeling provisions in place; 5 other
localities have legislation pending.241
Voluntary Efforts
Instead of mandated menu labeling, some states
have chosen to focus on voluntary menu labeling
programs. In Arizona, the Department of
Health Services launched the Smart Choice
Program after the legislature rejected a bill that
would have required restaurants to post nutritional information on menus. Under the Smart
Choice Program the state works with participating restaurants to evaluate and, if necessary,
modify menu items to meet specific nutrition criteria. A main dish, for example, should have the
following: A minimum of 2 servings of beans,
whole grains, fruits, or vegetables; no more than
700 calories; no more than 30 percent of total
calories from fat; no more than 15 percent of
total calories from saturated fat; no more than
0.5 percent of trans fat; and no more than 1,500
milligrams of sodium.242 To date, Subway,
McDonald’s, Outback Steakhouse, and Macayo’s
Mexican Kitchen have signed onto the program.
Critics of these voluntary programs highlight a
number of problems. First, many restaurants
choose not to participate in these programs.
Second, the nutrition information is not easily
accessible. Instead of posting the calorie and fat
counts on the menu, most restaurants choose to
print up brochures which may be hard to find, or
they post the information on the Internet. While
having the information available online is useful, it
does not help the customer who is waiting to
place an order in the restaurant. Finally, the
nutrition information in these brochures can be
difficult for the average consumer to use.243
LEGISLATION TO LIMIT OBESITY LIABILITY
Many states have responded to the obesity
epidemic by passing laws that prevent individuals from suing restaurants, manufacturers,
and marketers for contributing to unhealthy
weight and related health problems. These
laws that limit liability are fairly controversial,
and have been prompted by fears of obesity
lawsuits similar to tobacco lawsuits. However,
they are one of the most visible obesity-related policies to emerge in recent years.
Proponents of these bills argue that the
central issue is “common sense and personal
responsibility.”244 Passage of these bill indicates
a level of support for the view that obesity is
an individual health issue. Supporters also
endorse a 2004 White House statement that
“food manufacturers and sellers should not be
held liable for injury because of a person’s
consumption of legal, unadulterated food and
a person’s weight gain or obesity.”245
Twenty-four states have passed obesity
liability laws: Arizona, Colorado, Florida,
Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana,
Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Missouri,
New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio,
Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Tennessee,
Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Opponents of limited liability laws support
the position that “it’s impossible for consumers to exercise personal responsibility
when businesses are concealing important
information about their products,” such as
the number of calories in restaurant food or
the lack of consistency in food labeling.246
53
LAND USE, URBAN PLANNING AND TRANSPORTATION POLICIES
Health officials and elected leaders are increasingly aware of the
importance that communities have on the health of their residents. At the federal level, Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) and
Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) have introduced legislation
that would require the CDC director to develop guidance for
the assessment of potential health effects of land use, housing,
Sprawl describes spread-out areas where homes may be isolated from schools, the workplace, and other frequent destinations. As a result, people “who live in these areas may find that
driving is the most convenient way to get everything done, and
they are less likely to have easy opportunities to walk, bicycle,
or take transit as part of their daily routine.”248
Green spaces describe open, undeveloped recreational
spaces that are accessible to the public and maintained by
and transportation policy and plans.247 However, the bulk of this
type of legislative action has been at the state and local level.
TFAH’s F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America
2005 report included a state-by-state review of green space,
brownfields, and sprawl initiatives (available online at
www.healthyamericans.org).
the government. Green spaces provide communities with
opportunities for recreation and physical activity by providing areas for walking, biking, and other sports.249
Brownfields are former commercial and industrial sites, many
of which are abandoned or contaminated with hazardous substances or pollutants. Often, these locations provide no usable
space for the surrounding area and remain as decaying eyesores, environmental health threats, and indicators of blight.
COMPLETE STREETS INITIATIVES
Physical inactivity, coupled with unhealthy eating habits, is a
major driver of the current obesity epidemic. More than half
of the U.S. adult population does not meet the recommended
daily physical activity guidelines, while a quarter of U.S. adults
report being completely inactive.250 (See Section 2: Fast Facts
for recommended daily physical activity guidelines.)
One major obstacle to physical activity is concern about safety. For example, the number of children walking to and from
school has declined dramatically over the past 40 years, from
48 percent of students in 1969 to 16 percent of students in
2001.251 Parents frequently list traffic safety concerns as a top
reason that their children do not walk or bike to school.252
Governments and communities that address traffic safety concerns can promote healthier living. For instance, a 2003 study
found that 43 percent of people with safe places to walk within
10 minutes of home met recommended activity levels; among
those without safe places to walk just 27 percent met the recommendation.253 An Australian study found that residents are 65
percent more likely to walk in a neighborhood with sidewalks.254
A review by the National Conference of State Legislatures
identified 5 state policy options that are most effective at
encouraging biking and walking:
1. Incorporating sidewalks and bike lanes into community design.
2. Providing funding for biking and walking in highway projects.
3. Establishing safe routes to school.
4. Fostering traffic-calming measures (e.g., any transportation design that is used to slow traffic).
5. Creating incentives for mixed-use development.255
54
The National Complete Streets Coalition is focusing on the
first 2 policy options by working with state, county and
city governments to incorporate features that promote
regular walking, cycling and transit use into just about
every street. To date, more than 75 states, counties,
regional governments and cities have complete streets
policies, according to the Coalition. A complete streets
policy enables all users -- pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists,
and bus riders of all ages and abilities -- to safely move
along and across a complete street.
While the bulk of the 2-year old coalition’s efforts have
focused on state and local governments, the coalition has also
pushed for federal action on the issue. In March 2008, Sens.
Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced
the Complete Streets Act (S.2686). In May 2008, Rep.
Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced the Safe and Complete
Streets Act of 2008 in the House (H.R. 5951). The bills
ensure that “all users of the transportation system, including
pedestrians, bicyclists, and transit users as well as children,
older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are able to
travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways.”256
Two members of the National Complete Streets
Coalition are the National Center for Safe Routes to
School and Smart Growth America. Safe Routes to
School focuses specifically on encouraging and enabling
more children to walk or bike to school, while Smart
Growth America deals with issues related to community
planning, including land use, mixed-use development, and
open-space preservation.
BIKING AND WALKING TO SCHOOL
Fewer students walk or bike to school in
the 21st century. According to a 2001
National Household Travel Survey, less
than 16 percent of students between the
ages of 5 and 15 walk or bike to school,
compared with 48 percent in 1969.257
Also, a recent study by CDC found that
only 31 percent of students aged 5-15 who
live within one mile of school walk or bike;
in 1969, that percentage was close to 90.258
After introducing new safety policies and promotional activities in Marin County, California,
the percentage of students walking to school
increased by 64 percent in just two years.259
Several states have undertaken comprehensive campaigns to encourage more students
to bike and walk to schools. For example:
The Ohio Department of Transportation
launched a $4-million Safe Routes to School
campaign in 2008 to enhance pedestrian
safety. Part of the campaign will focus on
infrastructure improvements, such as building and improving sidewalks, and behavior
change campaigns to encourage children to
bike or walk to school.260
The Illinois Department of
Transportation awarded $8.3 million to
support similar efforts. That money is part
of the $23 million Illinois received in federal grants to improve pedestrian and bicycle
safety projects across the state over the
next 3 years (2008-2010).261
The California Department of
Transportation has awarded $196 million to
over 700 Safe Routes to School projects
since the program’s inception in 2000.262 The
latest round of grants will distribute $52 million to cities and counties for various street
safety projects, such as improved lighting at
crosswalks. In addition, the 2008 grant
money will be used to promote walking and
biking through educational programs.263
55
D. QUALITATIVE EVALUATION OF STATE OBESITY-RELATED
LEGISLATION
As part of this year’s report, TFAH partnered
with the STOP Obesity Alliance and the George
Washington University School of Public Health
and Health Services’ Department of Health
Policy to conduct a qualitative review of state
laws that are related to the prevention or treatment of obesity. The review focused on laws in
2 major domains: nutrition and physical activity
standards in schools and insurance coverage
for obesity-related treatments. Within these 2
major domains, the assessment measured laws
against 4 factors:
Objective standards: The extent to which state
laws either adopt (or specify the adoption
of) objective standards related to obesity
prevention or treatment intervention.264
Statewideness: Whether the standards that
are adopted or contemplated in a state
law are expected to be applicable on a
statewide basis or whether local jurisdic-
tions/entities are given the discretion to
depart from such standards.
Enforcement mechanism: Whether the law
provides for some type of public enforcement mechanism (sanction, incentive, publication of results, private enforcement).
Data collection. Whether the law requires
states to collect data on the performance
of affected public and private entities.
(Covered entities may be local units of
government, employers, or other public
or private entities.)
The research team defined “objective standards” as federal or national standards that
have achieved either:
National recognition as a widely used or
recommended standard, or
Status as a formal legal standard.
QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS RESEARCH TEAM
Faculty and Staff from the George Washington University School of
Public Health and Health Services’ Department of Health Policy:
Nancy Lopez, JD MPH
Jennifer Sheer, MPH
Laura Cohen
Sara Rosenbaum, JD
Staff from TFAH:
Rebecca St. Laurent, JD
Jennifer Lee, MD
1) PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND NUTRITION STANDARDS IN SCHOOLS
All 50 states and D.C. mandate physical education in schools as part of the public school
curriculum (although participation is not
always mandatory).
However, without
enforcement mechanisms there is no way to
make sure schools are following the rules.
Likewise, 18 states currently have requirements for school meals that exceed the nutrition standards set by USDA. In this analysis
researchers examined all state legislation relating to physical activity/education and nutrition in the schools of each state, and evaluated
whether or not there is express enforceability
language within that legislation.
56
Although all states have some form of legislation related to physical education and/or
physical activity in schools, the majority do
not have specific enforceability language.
Thirteen states were found to have enforceability language. Of those states, 4 included
sanctions or penalties within their language,
and 10 included collection and reporting of
information regarding performance language, with one state containing both types
of language. Of the 18 states that have school
meal requirements exceeding the USDA
standards, only 7 have specific enforceability
language, with only 2 including sanctions or
penalties for noncompliance.
STATE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND NUTRITION LAWS
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Physical Activity Laws Contain
Express Enforceability Provision
*
^
*
*
Nutrition Laws Contain Express
Enforceability Provision
*
*
*
*^
*
*
*^
*
^
*
^
*
*
^
*
*
Please Note: Checkmarks in chart above followed by * indicate enforceability in the form of the collection of information regarding
performance and checkmarks followed by a ^ indicate enforceability in the form of sanctions or penalties.
57
2) INSURANCE BENEFITS FOR OBESITY-RELATED TREATMENT
Over the past 5 years, the insurance industry’s
view of obesity and obesity-related health
problems has undergone a dramatic change.
When insurers first recognized obesity as a
substantial health risk, procedures such as
bariatric surgery became available within
some private insurance plans.265 However,
even with evidence showing that nutritional
counseling can help obese patients lose
weight and that prevention and treatment
of obesity work best when provided by a
multidisciplinary team of health care workers, most insurance policies did not include
coding for obesity counseling.266,267 The failure to provide coding means that clinicians
who want to offer obesity treatments and
preventive services have no way of billing for
these services. If health care workers are
unable to be reimbursed for their services,
they are highly unlikely to offer these obesity-related services to their patients.
In recent years, however, that has begun to
change. In late 2004 Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC)
announced that it would begin offering coverage for obesity.268 The coverage includes
nutrition counseling, reimbursement for visits to the doctor, as well as access to 2 prescription weight-loss drugs.269 BCBSNC also
started including registered dieticians in its
network of providers. All those covered by
BCBSNC can receive up to 6 nutrition visits
per year.270 Highmark, which is a Pittsburghbased insurance company, has also begun to
reimburse pediatricians for obesity counseling.271 The statistics to date show that obesity
related visits have increased by 23 percent.272
Another change occurred in February 2006
when the Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS) released its new
policy that includes national coverage for
bariatric surgery.273 The new policy extends
bariatric surgery to all Medicare recipients
with a body mass index of 35 or higher with
at least one co-morbidity related to obesity.274
Given the recent developments in insurance
coverage of obesity-related treatments,
researchers examined each state’s coverage in 3
areas: Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening,
Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT), Medicaid
adult obesity coverage and payment for eligible
persons, and state insurance laws.
a) Medicaid Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and Treatment (EPSDT)
58
Medicaid requires participating states to cover
Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic, and
Treatment (EPSDT) benefits for all eligible
children under age 21, even if such services are
not available under the state’s Medicaid plan to
the rest of the Medicaid population. EPSDT
benefits include comprehensive periodic and
as-needed assessments of children’s health and
development beginning at birth and continuing to age 21. The examinations encompass a
wide range of procedures, including a developmental assessment, a nutritional assessment,
and anticipatory guidance. For children identified with a physical, developmental, or mental health condition, states must arrange for all
medically necessary treatments falling within
federally covered service classes, even if such
treatments or service classes are not available
for individuals ages 21 and older.
In covering health treatments for children,
states are expected to adhere to standards of
medical necessity that reflect accepted pediatric standards of care.
In 2005 the American Medical Association, in
collaboration with the Health Resources and
Services Administration and CDC, convened
an expert committee to provide updated
practical guidance to practitioners on how to
prevent, assess, and treat child and adolescent
overweight and obesity.275 The committee put
forth guidance based on their appraisal of the
literature and their collective clinical experience. These recommendations, published in
December 2007, represent the consensus of
experts based on the best available information at the time and have been well-received
by the provider community.
State Medicaid EPSDT Coverage and Treatment Standards for Child Obesity
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Symbol
+
_
EPSDT reimbursement reflects evidence-based
obesity treatment standards for nutritional
assessment and counseling
a*
+
+
a*
_
_
b *
a
a†
a
a
_
b
a
+
+
+
+
b *
b *
a
a*
_
b
b
_
+
b *
b *
b *
_
+
_
b *
b
_
+
b
b
b
b
_
a†
_
b *
b
b
+
b
b *
b
EPSDT provider manual includes
detailed treatment standards for
child overweight and obesity
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
1
1
2
1
_
_
2
_
1
1
_
_
_
2
1
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
1
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
_
1
_
2
_
_
_
_
1
* Prior authorization required
† Could not find fee schedule on
state Medicaid website
P Services will be covered as part of
prenatal care only
C Services will be considered only if
comorbid conditions exist
L Services specifically limited (North
Dakota limits patient to four dietitian
visits per year and specifically
excludes any weight loss or exercise
programs)
1 EPSDT manual provides details on
obesity assessment but not treatment
2 EPSDT manual provides details on
obesity assessment and treatment
a Manual specifies the state will pay
for nutritional assessment and counseling but CPT codes are not listed
to bill for these services
b Manual does not specifically mention whether state will pay for nutritional assessment and counseling
but CPT codes are listed to bill for
these services
Rating
Obesity Treatment Services
Strong evidence of reimbursement; Manual specifies the state will pay for nutritional assessment
and counseling and CPT codes are listed to bill for these services
Some evidence of reimbursement; Either manual specifies state will pay for nutritional assessment
and counseling or CPT codes are listed to bill for these services
Manual does not specifically mention whether states will or will not pay for nutritional assessment
and counseling and no CPT codes are listed to bill for these services
59
Based on each state’s published Medicaid
manuals and fee schedules, researchers
found 10 states that failed to address nutritional assessment and counseling reimbursement at all in their published materials. In
these states, neither the provider manual
specifically mentioned whether Medicaid
would pay for these services nor were CPT
codes listed to bill for these services. In these
states, it only can be assumed that these services are not likely to be reimbursed.
The majority of states (29 and D.C.) provided
some but not conclusive evidence that they
will reimburse for nutritional assessment and
counseling. In general, these states either
provided generalized and nonspecific guidance regarding treatment for childhood conditions without listing reimbursement levels
for related billing codes or they provided
billing codes without any specific language
directing providers to use these codes for
nutritional assessment and treatment in the
treatment of obesity.
Researchers found that currently only 11
states provide strong evidence that they will
reimburse for nutritional and behavioral
therapy in children with overweight and
obesity. These states not only provide guidance in their provider manuals and regulations for the coverage of these services but
also provide reimbursement amounts in
their fee schedules for related billing codes.
For those states that listed medical nutrition codes in their fee schedules, the reimbursement rate for a 15 minute individual
assessment by a dietitian ranged from $9.91
to $32.21.
Twelve states require prior authorization for
services that are not normally covered by
Medicaid.
Four states set forth detailed treatment standards for childhood obesity in their EPSDT
provider manuals. Nine states incorporated
details on how to assess or screen for child
obesity in their EPSDT manuals, but did not
include guidelines on how to treat obesity.
Some manuals included links to screening
tools and guidelines and some states had
child obesity treatment information available elsewhere on their website (i.e. public
health departments) but not in their
provider manuals.
b) Medicaid Adult Obesity Coverage
In 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services (HHS) removed language
from the Medicare Coverage Issues Manual
that stated obesity was not an illness.276 This
policy change opened the door for the treatment under federal health care programs of
obesity as an illness or condition in its own
right. The change also sets an important
precedent for private insurers and employer-sponsored health benefit plans, because
of Medicare’s influence over health care
financing policy generally.
Medicaid is the largest of all public health
benefit programs, covering over 58 million
people in 2005.277 Medicaid beneficiaries
are low income or medically impoverished,
and many Medicaid eligibility categories
are, in contrast to private health insurance,
designed to assure coverage for persons with
60
serious and chronic health conditions. As a
result, the prevalence of elevated health
risks and serious illness is significantly higher among the Medicaid population.
State Medicaid programs have broad discretion over coverage and payment for services.
Medicaid specifies certain broad service
classes as required services; these include
physician services, inpatient services, and
services of federally qualified health centers
and rural health clinics, and several other
service classes. However, not all procedures
within required services classes must be covered. Moreover, many service classes such
as prescribed drugs, preventive services furnished by health professionals, and other
relevant service classes are not required but
remain optional with states. Most states
cover most classes of optional services to at
least some degree. All states cover prescription drugs to an extensive degree.
merely mentioned, or were specific treatment guidelines mentioned).
The review of state Medicaid coverage and
payment practices focused on 2 items:
The type of treatments covered and/or paid
for (nutritional assessment/counseling,
pharmacological therapy, and surgery).
The depth of guidance provided by the
provider manual (i.e. was treatment
61
State Medicaid Coverage and Treatment Standards:
Adult Obesity (Age 21 And Older)
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
D.C.
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
62
State provides
specific guidance for
treatment of
obesity in adults
+
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
X
+19
-
State covers and pays for
State covers and pays State covers and pays
nutritional assessment and
for drug therapy for
for bariatric surgery
consultation for treatment the treatment of obesity
for treatment of
of obesity in adults
in adults
obesity in adults
+1
+a,P
+*
+d
0
+
0
0
+*
0
+*
+*
+2
0
+
+b,*
+*
+*
0†
0
+*
0
+3
+
+*
0
+*
+C
0
+4
0
+5
+d
+
+
+d
+*
+*
0†
+a
0
+d
+
+
+d
0
+*
0
0
+*
0
0
+6
+d,P
0
+7
+a
+*
+*
+d
+*
+d,C
0
+8
0
-9
0
+10
+d
0
+11
0
+12
0
0†
0
+*
0
0
+13
+d
0
+*, 14
+a,L
0
+*
+*
+d
+15
+a,P
0
+*
+d
0
+*
+d
0
+*
+a,C
+*
+16
0
+17
0
+18
0
0
+*
+d
0
+*
+a,P
+*
+*
+a,P
+
0
+*,20
+a,L
+*
+*
+21
* Prior authorization required
† Could not find fee schedule on state Medicaid website
P Services will be covered as part of prenatal care only
C Services will be considered only if comorbid conditions exist
L Services specifically limited (North Dakota limits
patient to four dietitian visits per year and specifically
excludes any weight loss or exercise programs)
Symbol
+
X
+
0
-
a Manual specifies the state will pay for nutritional
assessment and counseling and CPT codes are listed to bill for these services
b Manual specifies the state will pay for nutritional
assessment and counseling but CPT codes are not
listed to bill for these services
d Manual does not specifically mention whether state
will pay for nutritional assessment and counseling
but CPT codes are listed to bill for these services
Rating
Obesity Guidance
Manual provides detailed guidance for treating adult obesity
Manual does not mention treating adult obesity
Manual provides no guidance for treating adult obesity
Services
State covers and reimburses specified service
State does not mention specified services in manual
State specifically excludes coverage and reimbursement for specified service
1 Alabama will not cover Gastric Bypass for patients
with a history of a previous Gastric Bypass procedure.
12 New Hampshire does not cover CPT codes
43645 or 43845.
2 Colorado does not reimburse for CPT code 43845.
14 North Carolina does not cover investigational
procedures including jejunoileal bypass, biliopancreatic bypass, gastric wrapping, gastric banding,
jejunocolostomy, and mini-gastric bypass.
3 Florida and West Virginia will not reimburse for
Bariatric Surgery unless there is an accompanying
co-morbidity.
13 New York does not cover CPT code 43845.
4 Idaho will only cover Gastric Bypass if the patient
also has: alveolar hypoventilation, uncontrolled
hypoventilation, uncontrolled diabetes, uncontrolled
hypertension; also requires prior-authorization.
15 Oklahoma does not include CPT codes 43842 or
43843 in its fee schedule.
5 Illinois and Wyoming approve gastric bypass on a
case-by-case basis.
17 South Dakota does not cover CPT codes 43644,
43645, 43770, 43771, 43772, 43773, 43774,
43845, or 43848.
6 Massachusetts will not cover CPT codes 43842,
43843, or 43845.
7 Michigan does not cover services for obesity alone;
it will cover treatment of obesity when done for
the purpose of controlling life-endangering comorbidities.
8 Missouri will not cover SPT codes 43770, 43771,
43772, 43773, or 43774.
9 Montana has no CPT codes for obesity surgery in
its fee schedule nor does it mention obesity in its
provider manual.
10 Nebraska excludes Ileal bypass and intestinal
surgery and will not cover other surgeries when
the sole diagnosis is obesity.
11 Nevada excludes intestinal bypass and gastric
balloon.
16 South Carolina will only cover surgery if a comorbidity is present.
18 Coverage offered is available through TennCare,
Tennessee’s managed care program. It is unclear
if this service is covered through traditional fee
for service Medicaid.
19 Vermont does not include obesity treatment language in its provider manual. However, the state
offers an extensive adult obesity toolkit at:
http://healthvermont.gov/family/fit/documents/Pro
moting_Healthier_Weight_toolkit.pdf.
20 Florida and West Virginia will not reimburse for
Bariatric Surgery unless there is an accompanying co-morbidity.
21 Illinois and Wyoming approve gastric bypass on a
case-by-case basis.
63
Medicaid Manual References to Obesity Treatment in Adults
Specific guidelines were rarely referred to in
the Medicaid provider manuals. Only 2 state
manuals provided guideline references.
Georgia referenced the Food Pyramid. While
Vermont made no mention of obesity within
its provider manual, it did offer an extensive
toolkit for adult obesity on its website.
Excluding the few states that made no mention of obesity (9 states), most provider manuals (40 states) referred to it only in regard to
coverage issues, rather than diagnostic or
treatment guidance. Nebraska and South
Carolina explicitly state in their provider manuals that obesity is not an illness.
State Medicaid Coverage and Payment
All 50 states and D.C. explicitly cover at least
one treatment category.
Eight states
(Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana,
Minnesota, South Carolina, Virginia, and
Wisconsin) cover all 3 treatment categories.
Nutritional Assessment and Consultation
Twenty-six states explicitly cover nutritional
assessment and consultation while 20 explicitly do not.
Drug Therapy
Drug therapy is the least frequently covered
and discussed treatment category; only 10
states cover it while 33 make no mention of
it within their provider manuals.
64
Bariatric Surgery
Bariatric surgery was the most frequently covered treatment (45 states); it is also the least
likely to be explicitly not covered (2 states).
Many state Medicaid programs do not offer
adults a full range of treatment options. The
provider manuals suggest (and even outright
state) that obesity is not an illness or disease in
and of itself, suggesting that few states are yet
following Medicare’s lead. Treatment is often
subject to many limitations and may not even
be offered if a patient is not suffering from
additional illnesses that are negatively impacted by obesity. What is most significant about
these results is the large amount of silence
exhibited by the states in regard to the 3 types
of obesity treatment considered here.
c) State Insurance Laws
Privately insured persons are overwhelmingly insured in the group market, with only 5
percent of insured persons covered through
non-group individual or family insurance,
where medical underwriting is prevalent.
Persons with obesity may be excluded from
the individual market based on their obesity
alone. Furthermore, insurers may use body
mass index measurements (BMI) to classify
certain persons as “unhealthy” or “uninsurable” as a result of their weight. In the
absence of explicit state regulation, an insurer would be not only be free to use obesity or
weight to impose exclusions and adjust rates,
but also to define the terms “overweight”
and “obese” at their discretion.
ical condition by HHS, it can be argued that
obesity falls within “health status” definitions, which vary from state to state.
Additionally, unless a state expressly prohibits its use, “health status” can be an independent risk factor in medical underwriting. Because obesity is now deemed a med-
The extent to which state insurance
laws address coverage of obesity related
treatments.
This analysis examines 3 basic aspects of
state insurance law:
The extent to which states prohibit or regulate medical underwriting practices involving
obesity or “health status” as an independent
risk factor in the small group market.
The extent to which states prohibit or regulate medical underwriting practices
involving obesity or “health status” as an
independent risk factor with regard to
both eligibility and rate adjustments in
the individual market.
65
State Health Insurance Law & Regulations
State
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
DC
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana*
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
66
State prohibits or regulates medical underwriting
or exclusions involving obesity or health status
as an independent risk factor.
Small Groups
Individual
For Eligibility For Rate Setting
0
0
0
-1
0
0
-2
0
0
-3
0
0
-4
-5
-6
-7
0
0
+8
0
0
-9
0
0
0
0
0
-10
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-13
0
-14
- 15
0
0
0
0
0
- 18
0
0
0
0
0
- 19
0
- 20
- 21
0
- 22
+ 23
+ 24
+ 25
+ 26
0
0
+ 29
+ 30
+31
- 32
0
033
-34
0
- 35
-36
0
0
- 37
0
0
- 38
0
0
- 39
0
0
- 40
0
- 41
- 42
0
0
+ 45
+ 46
+ 47
- 50
0
0
+ 51
+ 52
+ 53
- 54
055
0
- 56
0
0
- 57
0
0
- 58
0
0
+ 59
- 60
+ 61
0
0
0
- 62
0
0
- 63
0
- 64
- 65
0
- 66
- 68
0
069
- 70
071
- 72
- 73
0
- 74
+ 77
+ 78
+ 79
- 80
0
0
+ 83
0
+ 84
- 85
0
0
- 86
0
0
- 87
0
0
State requires coverage of one or
more obesity related treatments.
Small Groups
Individual
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
(+)11
0
0
0
+ 17
0
0
0
0
0
+ 27
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
+ 43
+ 48
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
(-)75
0
+ 81
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
(+)12
0
0
- 16
0
0
0
0
0
0
+ 28
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
+ 44
+ 49
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
- 67
0
0
(-)76
0
+ 82
0
0
0
0
Symbol
Rating
Category 1: State prohibits or regulates medical underwriting or exclusions involving
‘obesity’ or ‘health status’ as an independent risk factor.
(-)
The state has a statute that expressly allows for rate adjustments based on either
health status or obesity in the small group market OR expressly allows health status or
obesity to be used in determining eligibility or adjusting rates in the individual market.
(+)
The state has a statute that expressly prohibits adjustments in rates based on health status
or obesity in the small group market OR prohibits the use of obesity or health status to
determine eligibility or rates in the individual market.
(0)
The state is silent with regard to obesity or health status being used to determine rates in
the small market OR eligibility or rates in the individual market.
Category 2: State requires coverage of one or more obesity related treatments.
(-)
The state has a statute that expressly prohibits the coverage of obesity related treatment(s).
(+)
The state has a statute that expressly allows the coverage of obesity related treatment(s).
(0)
The state is silent on the issue of coverage for obesity related treatment(s).
1 AS 21.56.120
2 Arizona Code 20-2311
3 Arkansas Insurance Code §23-86-204
4 California Code §10716
5 BMI CA Insurance Code §10113.95 created a requirement for insurers of individual health insurance policies
to file rating policies and underwriting guidelines with
Dept. of Insurance (AB 356). The Dept. of Insurance
summarized the information that companies filed in the
questions and answers chart below: Will a health insurance company look at my height and weight when I
apply for insurance? Yes. Insurance companies usually
look at your height and weight when they decide to offer
insurance. They may offer you insurance at a higher premium rate or refuse to insure you if you are overweight
or obese. Some insurance companies use a measurement called the Body Mass Index (BMI) to decide. If
your BMI is above 39, most insurance companies will not
offer you insurance. If your BMI is 30-39, an insurance
company may offer you insurance at a higher premium.
If you have health problems because of your weight,
such as diabetes or heart disease, an insurance company
may refuse to insure you, even if your BMI is under 30.
6 BMI
7 Colorado Revised Statute §10-16-105
8 Adjusted Community Rating: Connecticut Insurance
Code 38A-567 (No small employer carrier may inquire
regarding health status or claims experience of the
small employer or its employees or dependents prior
to the quoting of a premium rate)
9 Delaware Code Title 18 §7202
10 Florida Code §627.6699(6)
11 GA Insurance Code 33-24-59.7 (Every health benefit
policy that is delivered, issued, executed, or renewed
in this state... on or after July 1, 1999, which provides
major medical benefits may offer coverage for the
treatment of morbid obesity.)
12 Ibid.
13 Idaho Code Title 41 Chapter 47 §41-4706
14 Idaho Code §41-5206 (see §41-5208 for limits on
catastrophic insurance)
15 §215ILCS93/25
16 Illinois Insurance Code Title 50 Chapter 1
§2007.60(e)(17) (No individual policy shall limit or
exclude coverage by type of illness, accident, treatment
or medical condition, except as follows... “weight
reduction procedures, treatment or classes, except for
morbid obesity”)
17 Indiana Insurance Code 27-8-14.1-4 (a group insurer
“that issues an accident and sickness insurance policy
shall offer coverage for nonexperimental, surgical
treamtment by health care provider of morbid
obesity”....some caveats listed in statute) §27-13-714.5 (same coverage for group HMO’s)
18 Iowa Insurance Code §513B.4
19 Kentucky Insurance Code §304.17A-0952
20 Ibid.
21 Louisiana Insurance Code §22:228.2
22 Louisiana Insurance Code §22:228:6
*Louisiana Public Health Code RS40:1299.117 interestingly states that obesity is a disease if accompanied by
one of eleven conditions/comorbidities.
23 Maine Insurance Code Title 24-A Chapter 35 §2808B (‘a carrier may not vary the premium rate due to
gender, health status, claims experience, or policy
duration of eligible group)
24 Maine Insurance Code §2736-C -medical underwriting
is prohibited; Adjusted Community Rating for
premiums -- cannot use health status to adjust
25 Ibid.
26 Maryland Insurance Code §15-1205 (community rating for small group insurance - “rating methodology
...without regard to health status”)
27 Ibid.
28 Maryland Insurance Code §15-839 (“An entity subject
to this section shall provide coverage for the surgical
treatment of morbid obesity”...caveats listed)
29 Massachusetts Chapter 58 of the Code of 2006
(176J(4)(a)(3) & 176Q) (reform law prohibits excluding anyone on health status) (group insurance is community based rating with adjustments allowed for age,
industry, group size, geography, family composition,
participation rate, wellness program participation, and
participation in the small employer reinsurance plan.)
67
30 176M- guaranteed issue and adjusted community
rating for premiums
31 Ibid.
32 Michigan PA 88 of 2003: underwriting is permitted by
health status with the exception of BCBS and HMOs
which exclude health status underwriting. BCBS can
only consider age and industry and HMOs can only
consider age, industry, and group size.
60 Oregon Insurance Code §743.766
61 Oregon Insurance Code §743.767(2) adjusted
community rating
34 Minnesota Code 62L.08
62 OFFICE OF THE HEALTH INSURANCE
COMMISSIONER REGULATION 11 SMALL
EMPLOYER HEALTH INSURANCE AVAILABILITY
REGULATION Section 5
35 Minnesota Code 62A.65
63 South Carolina Insurance Code SECTION 38-71-940
36 Mississippi Code §83-63-7
64 South Carolina Insurance Code Section 38-71-325
37 Insurance Code §379.936
65 South Dakota Insurance Code §58-18B-3;
38 Montana Insurance Code §33-22-1809
66 South Dakota Insurance Code §58-17-74 (expressly
allows weight to be used as rating factor); SD
Administrative Rules 20:06:39:03
33 Ibid.
39 Nebraska Code §44-5258
40 Nevada Code NRS 689C.210
41 Nevada Code NRS 689A.680
42 New Hampshire Insurance Code §404-G:5-d
67 South Dakota Administrative Regulations 20:06:39:29
(expressly allows exclusion for weight modification....obesity treatments..surgery..)
43 New Hampshire Insurance Code RSA 415:18-t
(coverage for the diseases and ailments caused by
obesity and morbid obesity and treatment for such,
including bariatric surgery”...with caveats) (SB312)
68 Tennessee Insurance Code §56-7-2209
44 New Hampshire Insurance Code RSA 415:6-o
(coverage for the diseases and ailments caused by
obesity and morbid obesity and treatment for such,
including bariatric surgery”...with caveats)
70 Texas Insurance Code §1501.205
45 New Jersey Insurance Code NJSA 17B:27A-25 (modified
community rating required for small group insurers)
46 New Jersey Insurance Code NJSA 17B:27A-4
(community rating required for individual insurers;
guarantee issue)
47 Ibid.
48 New Jersey Insurance Code 17B:27-46.1h (provides
for “annual consultation with a health care provider
to discuss lifestyle behaviors that promote health and
well-being including, but not limited to... nutrition and
diet recommendations, exercise plans, lower back
protection, weight control”
49 New Jersey Insurance Code 17B:27-2.1.h (provides
for “annual consultation with a health care provider
to discuss lifestyle behaviors that promote health and
well-being including, but not limited to... nutrition and
diet recommendations, exercise plans, lower back
protection, weight control”)
50 New Mexico Insurance Code §59A-23C-5
51 New York Insurance Code 11 NYCRR 360.4; 360.5
(prohibits medical underwriting; pure community rating)
52 Ibid.
53 Ibid.
54 NC Insurance Code §58-50-130
55 BCBS has some guaranteed issue policies but can
charge high premiums
56 North Dakota Insurance Code §26.1-36.3-04
57 Ohio Insurance Code §3923.571
58 Oklahoma Title 36 Chapter 2 §6515
68
59 OAR 836-053-0065 (Bulletin prohibiting the use of
health status to be used in underwriting in small
group insurance policies) modified community rating
69 Cover Tennessee Program allows obesity to be used
as risk factor is assessing premiums §56-7-3013 (small
group employers can buy into the program)
71 Under Texas Administrative Code 28 Part 1 Chapter
11 subchapter H Rule 11.04(a) individual HMO’s do
not use health status as factor in underwriting policies.
72 Texas Insurance Code §544.155
73 Utah Insurance Code §31A-30-106
74 Utah R590-167-6
75 Utah Administrative Rules R590-233-4(w) (allows
gastric bypass surgery to be excluded from group and
individual heath insurance policies)
76 Ibid.
77 Vermont Insurance Code Title 8, Chapter 107,
4080a(h)(1) prohibits the use of medical underwriting
in group policies.
78 Vermont Insurance Code Title 8, Chapter 107,
4080b(h)(1) prohibits the use of medical underwriting
in individual policies; 4080d(1) guaranteed issue
79 Ibid.
80 Virginia Insurance Code §38-2-3433
81 Virginia 38-2-3418.13 allows for coverage of treatment
for morbid obesity for group and individual policies.
82 Ibid.
83 Washington Insurance Code §48.44.035 (adjusted
community rating)
84 RCW 48.44.022 -- health status prohibited from
being used for adjustment of premium rates but does
not determine eligibility for coverage or exlusions.
85 WV §33.16D5
86 Wisconsin §632.748; §932.05
87 Wyoming Insurance Code §26-19-304
Medical Underwriting or Exclusions
Essentially insurers have the liberty to use
obesity or health status as a risk factor to
deny coverage and exclude treatments,
unless otherwise prohibited by state law.
On the group market, 35 states expressly
allow health status or obesity to be used as a
factor for rate adjustments in the small
group market. The majority used “health
status” as an adjustment factor. Only 9 states
prohibit the use of health status or obesity as
a factor for rate adjustments in the small
group market. These states used community or adjusted community rating.
Five states prohibit the use of health status or
obesity as a factor to determine eligibility in
the individual market. These states are Maine,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and
Vermont. Meanwhile, 7 states prohibit the use
of health status or obesity as a factor to determine rates in the individual market -- Maine,
Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon,
Vermont, and Washington.
For the individual market, 2 states expressly
allow the use of health status or obesity as a
factor to determine eligibility in the individual market -- Oregon (through mandatory
use of standardized health form) and
California (through mandatory filing of
insurers’ rates based on BMI). Ten states
allow the use of health status or obesity as a
factor to determine rates in the individual
market. South Dakota is the only state to
expressly state that “weight” can be used as a
rating factor; the other 9 states allow “health
status” to be used as a rating factor.
Mandated Coverage for One or More
Obesity-Related Treatment
The vast majority of states do not mandate
any coverage of obesity related treatments
and the few that do cover only those treatments for morbid obesity as long as individuals adhere to the caveats imposed in the
coverage requirement. Only 5 states provide for coverage of one or more treatments
for obesity for both the small group and
individual insurance markets: Georgia,
Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and
Virginia. Indiana provides for coverage of
surgical treatment of morbid obesity for
groups only, while Illinois and South Dakota
expressly exclude coverage for obesity related treatments in the individual market only.
Utah is the only state that expressly excludes
gastric bypass surgery from coverage in both
markets.
Although obesity itself is being treated more
like a disease with drugs, surgery, and
behavior therapy in various combinations,
the health insurance system has still largely
ignored the problem.
69
Federal Responsibilities
and Policies
T
here are a variety of initiatives to promote physical activity and healthy
4
SECTION
nutrition at the federal level. This section includes a discussion of fed-
eral obesity-related policies and legislation, including major bills that were up
for reauthorization in 2008 or that are due to be considered in 2009.
A. Overhaul of the WIC Food Packages.
B. 2008 Farm Bill.
C. Reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act.
D. Reauthorization of the No Child Left
Behind Act.
F. Reauthorization of the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity
Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
G. Other Obesity Related Legislation before
Congress.
H. Funding for CDC Obesity Grants.
E. Reauthorization of the State Children’s
Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).
A. OVERHAUL OF THE WIC FOOD PACKAGES
In December 2007, USDA made significant
changes to the Special Supplemental Nutrition
Program for Women, Infants, and Children
(WIC) adding fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains to the list of grocery items covered. This
was the program’s first major overhaul since
1974.278 A 2005 report by the IOM had called
for similar action on the grounds that “the proposed changes to the WIC food packages hold
potential for improving the nutrition and
health of the nation’s low-income pregnant
women, new mothers, infants, and young children.”279 USDA based its recommendations on
those in the 2005 IOM report.
Under the old regulations, WIC participants
were able to purchase the following items:
Iron-fortified infant formulas
Milk
Cereal (infant and adult)
Juice
Eggs
Cheese
Dried legumes or peanut butter
Tuna
Carrots
The new WIC list of approved foods contains all the old items plus:280
Fruits (fresh, frozen, dried or canned)
Vegetables (fresh, frozen, dried or canned)
Whole wheat bread or other whole grains
Soy-beverage & tofu
Light tuna
Salmon
Sardines
Mackerel
Canned legumes
Infant foods
The new food list incorporates a diverse
group of foods in order to appeal to participants from various cultural backgrounds.281
According to the National WIC Association,
these changes will not only impact the
health of mothers and children enrolled in
the program, but others in the community
who shop at WIC-authorized grocery stores
as these retail outlets will now be required to
carry this variety of fresh, healthy food.282
The changes to WIC also include incentives
to promote breastfeeding among low71
income women, who have lower rates of
breastfeeding according to CDC.283
Research indicates that formula-fed children have higher risks of ear and respiratory infections, obesity, diabetes, and cancer.284
The WIC program aims to more vigorously
promote and support breastfeeding by
increasing the amount of fruit and veg-
etable vouchers women who breastfeed
receive, while providing less formula to partially breastfed infants.
States have until Oct. 1, 2009, to implement
the new WIC regulations, but many have
moved to implement them ahead of the
deadline.
B. 2008 FARM BILL
In June, the House and Senate both passed the
Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008
(P.L. 110-246). The legislation reauthorizes
farm and nutrition programs for the next 5
years. It includes an additional $10.36 billion
over current spending levels for nutrition programs. The president vetoed the bill, but the
House and Senate overrode the veto. Below is
a summary of some of the key nutrition provisions in the bill:
Food Stamps
Renames the Food Stamp Program the
“Supplemental Nutrition Assistance
Program” (SNAP).
Raises and indexes the standard deduction and increases the minimum monthly
benefit for food stamp recipients.
72
Indexes the asset limit to keep pace with
inflation and excludes the value of retirement and education savings accounts
from counting towards the asset limit.
Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to
carry out pilot projects to develop and test
methods of using the SNAP to improve the
dietary and health status of households eligible for or participating in the SNAP and
to reduce overweight, obesity and associated co-morbidities in the United States;
requires that the secretary not use more
than $20 million in mandatory funding to
carry out a point-of-purchase pilot program to encourage households participating in the SNAP to purchase fruits, vegetables or other healthy foods.
THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM AND OBESITY
In FY 2007, the Food Stamp Program (FSP) -now known as the Supplemental Nutrition
Assistance Program (SNAP) -- served approximately 26.5 million people in an average
month and cost about $33 billion.285 While
this is clearly an important public assistance
program for many Americans, research data
show that there may be a connection
between the FSP and obesity. For example, a
recent study funded by USDA found that lowincome women who participate in the FSP
are significantly more likely to be obese than
low-income women who are not participants
of the program.286
Obesity Differences Among Low-Income Food Stamp Recipients
and Low-Income Non-Recipients
Prevalence of Obesity (%)
Prevalence of Obesity (%)
WOMEN (Low-Income)
Food Stamp Recipients
Non-Recipients
27.8
19.0
MEN (Low-Income)
Food Stamp Recipients
Non-Recipients
21.3
20.1
Source: USDA, September 2007.
USDA has been trying to address this problem. The agency is examining assistance programs, poverty, and other factors that may
be contributing to disparities of higher levels
of obesity in lower-income populations.
Many studies have been funded by USDA to
provide an overview of the relationship
between FSP and obesity. “Obesity, Poverty,
and Participation in Food Assistant
Programs,” publicly released in February of
2005, basically concludes that despite efforts
at quality research, the effects of food assistance programs are still unknown.287 A more
recent USDA study, “The Effects of Food
Stamps on Obesity,” released in September
of 2007, reports that even if food stamps
caused all recipients to become obese (which
the data do not support), FSP would only
play a minor role in increasing the prevalence
of obesity nationwide.288
A number of health advocacy organizations
raise the issue that many food stamp beneficiaries have difficulty affording many healthier food
options, since many healthier foods cost more
than less healthy alternatives.289 Nutrition advocates suggest that economic incentives be provided to increase fruit, vegetable and other
healthy food consumption through the FSP.290
Also, the 2007 study suggests that the FSP
should be used as a tool to combat obesity by
educating newly certified Food Stamp recipients about healthy eating habits and weight
management.291 The reauthorized Farm Bill
contains a provision to develop and test pilot
programs to focus on these 2 issues.
73
Seniors
Reauthorizes the Commodity Supplemental
Food Program, which provides nutritious
food boxes primarily to low-income seniors.
Provides $20.6 million in mandatory funding each year for the Senior Farmers’
Market Nutrition Program, which provides
seniors with vouchers to buy fresh produce
at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, and
other community-supported programs.
Children
Provides for a nationwide expansion of
the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program,
which provides free fresh fruits and vegetables to be served as snacks to schoolchildren; requires state agencies to reach
out to schools with significant numbers of
children eligible for free or reduced-price
meals to inform them of their eligibility
for the program; and authorizes mandatory funding of $40 million for the program
in 2008, $65 million in 2009, $101 million
in 2010, $150 million in 2011, and $150
million indexed for inflation in 2012.
Requires the Secretary of Agriculture to
carry out a nationally representative survey of the foods purchased by school
authorities participating in the school
lunch program and provides $3 million to
carry out the survey.
Directs the Secretary to purchase fresh
fruits and vegetables to be served for lunch
in schools and service institutions and provides $50 million a year for the acquisitions.
Communities
Provides $5 million of mandatory funding
each year for Community Food Projects,
which are community-based projects that
require a one-time contribution of federal assistance to become self-sustaining
and are designed to meet the food needs
of low-income individuals and to increase
the self-reliance of communities in providing for food needs.
Creates the Healthy Urban Food
Enterprise Development Center to
increase access to healthy, affordable
foods, including locally produced agricultural products, to underserved communities, and provides mandatory funding of
$1 million per year for the Center.
Increases funding by $1.256 billion for
the Emergency Food Assistance Program,
which provides commodities to help stock
food banks.
Devotes additional mandatory funding to
the Farmers’ Market Promotion Program
(FMPP), which provides grants to help
promote farmers’ markets, roadside
stands and other direct producer-to-consumer marketing opportunities, and stipulates that some of the funding for the
FMPP must be used to support the use of
electronic benefits transfers for federal
nutrition programs at farmers’ markets.
C. REAUTHORIZATION OF THE CHILD NUTRITION AND
SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTAL NUTRITION PROGRAM FOR
WOMEN, INFANTS, AND CHILDREN (WIC) ACT
The School Lunch and Breakfast Programs
and Special Supplemental Nutrition
Program for WIC will be up for reauthorization in 2009. The legislation covers virtually all federal child nutrition and special supplemental nutrition programs, including
the following:
74
National School Lunch Program.
National School Breakfast Program.
Summer Food Service Program.
Child and Adult Care Food Program.
WIC Program.
These programs are administered by
USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service in coordination with state education, health, social
service, and agriculture agencies. There are
3 main goals of these federal child nutrition
programs: 1) improve children’s nutrition,
2) increase lower-income children’s access
to nutritious meals and snacks, and 3) help
support the agricultural economy.292
An estimated 39 million children and 2 million lower-income pregnant/postpartum
women are served by these programs.293
A number of dietary factors are contributing
to increased levels of childhood and adult obesity in America, ranging from higher caloric
density of foods to limited access to nutritious
fresh foods in many areas to outdated nutrition standards for foods sold at schools.
Currently, the typical American diet does not
include enough fruits and vegetables.
Only one in 5 Americans consumes the
recommended amount of fruit each day.294
Children under the age of 18 generally
consume 50 percent or less of the recommended levels of fruits and vegetables.295
Consumer and industry economics also contribute to the country’s obesity problem.
Low-income families consume fewer
fruits and vegetables than higher-income
families.296
People in low-income areas often pay
more for nutritious foods such as fresh
fruits and vegetables.297,298
The costs of fruits and vegetables have
increased 40 percent since 1985, while the
costs of fats and sugars have declined.299,300
There are a number of nutrition provisions
associated with the reauthorization of federal programs. Advocates argue that these can
be an important vehicle to improve federal
child nutrition programs and help combat
the obesity epidemic.
A 2006 report by the Congressional Research
Service highlighted some key nutrition provisions authorized under the 2004 version of the
Child Nutrition and Special Supplemental
Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
Children (WIC) Act (P.L. 108-265).301 They
include:
Requiring local education agencies (i.e.
school districts) which participate in
school meal programs to establish school
wellness policies that include goals for
nutrition education and physical activity,
nutrition guidelines for foods available
during the school day, and a plan to measure implementation.
Authorizing grants to states to implement
TeamNutrition Networks that support
nutrition education through the promotion of active lifestyles, pilot projects, data
gathering, and other activities. The Act
authorized grants to entities with expertise in health education programs for individuals with limited English proficiency to
enhance obesity prevention; authorized
technical assistance and grants to improve
the quality of school meals; and authorized grants to local educational agencies
to create healthy school environments.
Making permanent the fresh fruit and
vegetable snack program in schools.
Increasing the limit on the federal share
of benefits from $20 to $30 per participant per year for the WIC Farmers’
Market Nutrition Program, which provides vouchers to WIC recipients to purchase fruit and vegetables at farmers’
markets. It also enabled states to expand
the definition of “farmers’ markets” to
include road side stands.
Authorizing funding for USDA to encourage schools to purchase locally produced
foods. It also authorized USDA to provide competitive matching grants and
technical assistance for projects that
improve access to local foods through
farm-to-cafeteria activities, procurement
from small and medium-sized farms, support for garden programs, and farmbased nutrition education projects.
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D. REAUTHORIZATION OF NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
The Elementary and Secondary Education
Act, widely known as the No Child Left
Behind Act (NCLB), was due for reauthorization in 2007, but Congress still has not
reauthorized it. Parts of the legislation could
influence how physical education and physical activity are included within the school day.
According to the National Coalition for
Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA), studies demonstrate that physical education and
physical activity programs have positive
effects on students’ academic achievement,
including
increased
concentration,
improved mathematics, reading, and writing test scores, and also reduced disruptive
behavior.302 (See Section 3: State Responsibilities
and Policies for a further discussion of physical
activity and academic performance.)
One of the major pieces of legislation
addressing physical activity in schools, that
may be offered as an amendment to NCLB, is
the Fitness Integrated with Teaching (FIT)
Kids Act of 2007 (S. 2173/H.R. 3257). The
legislation was introduced by Senator Tom
Harkin (D-IA) and Representatives Ron Kind
(D-WI), Zach Wamp (R-TN) and Jay Inslee
(D-WA), and includes reforms that could be
included in the reauthorization of NCLB.
Specifically, the FIT Kids Act would: require
state and local educational agency report
cards to include information on school
health and physical education programs;
include the promotion of active lifestyles in
educational grant programs; support professional development for teachers and principals to promote healthy habits and participation in physical activity; and fund a study by
the National Academy of Sciences to assess
the impact of health and physical activity on
student achievement and find ways to make
and measure improvements to health and
physical education in schools.
E. REAUTHORIZATION OF THE STATE CHILDREN’S
HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM (SCHIP) ACT
The State Children’s Health Insurance
Program (SCHIP) is designed to help states
insure more low-income children who are not
eligible for Medicaid. The program was up
for reauthorization in 2007, but Congress and
the president could not reach agreement on
a long-term reauthorization. As a result, the
president signed a short-term extension of
the program, until March of 2009. When the
program is revisited, Congress may again consider taking steps to further address the childhood obesity crisis by including a health
insurance-style benefit for obesity-related
services to children enrolled in the program.
Most private insurance plans do not provide coverage for obesity-related services;
76
thus, these benefits may not be part of the
“benchmark” plans from which SCHIP coverage is developed.
In order to more
effectively address rising childhood obesity
rates, basic anti-obesity benefits could be
provided for SCHIP beneficiaries. There is
precedent for this sort of coverage as
Medicare covers medical nutrition therapy
for beneficiaries with diabetes or renal disease. But the Medicare benefit, which is
aimed at adults familiar with medical
advice, counseling, and treatment, may not
be adequate for children covered by
SCHIP. (See Section 3: State Responsibilities
and Policies for a more detailed analysis of obesity-related insurance coverage.)
F. REAUTHORIZATION OF THE SAFE, ACCOUNTABLE,
FLEXIBLE, EFFICIENT TRANSPORTATION EQUITY ACT:
A LEGACY FOR USERS (SAFETEA-LU)
The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users
(SAFETEA-LU) will be reauthorized in 2009.
The legislation has been an important vehicle
to improve federal programs that support
active transportation (travel by bike, foot, or
other non-motorized means), safe streets, and
public transportation. Researchers partially
attribute the decline in physical activity to
how we commute to and from work.
Therefore, a coalition of smart growth
activists and physical activity proponents are
looking at ways to use federal transportation
programs to boost physical activity and help
combat the obesity epidemic.
This coalition of advocates point to the
following facts:
Non-leisure time physical activity has
decreased substantially in the past 20 to
30 years due to increasing mechanization
at work and in the home.303 “Non-leisure
time physical activity” is defined as energy
spent in a normal day outside of sports,
exercise and recreation. This includes
manual labor on the job, walking and biking to work, and household chores.304
A majority of U.S. adults (20-74 years old)
walk less than 2 to 3 hours per week and
accumulate less than 5,000 steps per
day.305 U.S. physical activity guidelines call
for adults to walk 10,000 steps daily.
The automobile has significantly reduced
physical activity by its frequent use for
short trips for shopping, going to the
cleaners, and other errands, and taking
children to school.306 In fact, a national
survey found that bike lanes were available for less than 5 percent of bicycle
trips, and more than one-quarter of
pedestrian trips take place on roads with
neither sidewalks nor shoulders.307
G. OTHER OBESITY RELATED LEGISLATION BEFORE CONGRESS
LEGISLATION
Nutrition & Physical Activity
Federal Obesity Prevention Act of 2008, S. 3321
This bill would amend the Public Health Service Act to provide coordinated leadership in
Federal efforts to prevent and reduce overweight and obesity and to promote sound health
and nutrition among Americans, and for other purposes. The legislation requires the
secretary of HHS to establish a Federal Task Force on Obesity to: (1) establish a
government-wide strategy for preventing and reducing overweight and obesity that includes
defining clear roles, responsibilities, and accountability for all agencies of the Federal
Government; (2) coordinate effective interagency coordination and priorities for action
among Federal agencies, including short-term and long-term goals for childhood and adult
obesity rates; and (3) implement and evaluate the effectiveness of such strategy.
Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act, S. 1342/H.R. 2633
This comprehensive legislation requires the secretary of HHS to convene a task force on
childhood obesity; allows a wellness program credit for employers; requires certain
restaurants and vending machines to provide nutritional information about each food
offered; provides for the development of a tool to measure community barriers to
participating in physical activity and provides for grants to plan model communities of play;
and provides for healthy school nutrition environment incentive grants.
SPONSORS
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)
Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA)
Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM)
77
LEGISLATION
Nutrition & Physical Activity
Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity Act (IMPACT), H.R. 2677
The bill “encourages cross-sector collaborations for improving the health of young people
and ensures that community partnerships approach youth health comprehensively by
addressing physical activity, nutrition and emotional wellness.”308 The bill would allow states
to use preventive health and health services block grants for activities and community
education programs designed to address and prevent obesity and eating disorders.309 It also
requires the secretary of HHS to report to Congress on: (1) the causes and health implications
of being overweight, obese, or having an eating disorder; and (2) the effectiveness of
campaigns to change children’s behaviors and reduce obesity.
Menu Education and Labeling (MEAL) Act, S. 2784/H.R. 3895
The MEAL Act would amend the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to require restaurants
that are a part of a chain with 20 or more locations to post calorie and other nutritional
information adjacent to each food item on the menu.310
Physical Activities Guidelines for Americans Act, S. 2748/H.R. 5639
Requires the HHS to prepare and promote physical activity guidelines based on the latest
scientific evidence, similar to the federal nutritional guidelines, commonly known as the Food
Pyramid, which are updated every 5 years.
School Nutrition & Physical Education
21st Century Community Learning Centers Act of 2007, S. 1557
This is a bill aimed at improving 21st Century Community Learning Centers. The bill identifies
after-school programs as effective venues for improving nutrition, nutrition education, and
physical activity at a time when just 20 percent of youth in grades 9 through 12 consume the
recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. It amends existing language (in B of title IV
of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 - 21 CCLC) to include the provision of
service learning and nutrition education, and strikes current language on recreational activities
and includes in its place, language on the provision of physical fitness and wellness programs.
Back to School: Improving Standards for Nutrition and Physical Education in
Schools Act of 2007, S. 2066
The bill codifies IOM nutrition standards into law for competitive foods and beverages sold
in schools, and requires IOM to update the nutrition standard every 5 years. Additionally,
schools receiving federal funding must meet standards for physical activity issued by the
secretary of Education, based on standards recommended by the National Association for
Sport and Physical Education.
Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act, S. 771/H.R. 1363
The bill requires the USDA to update nutritional standards for foods sold outside of school
lunch meals so they meet current nutrition science guidelines. The bill also expands the time
and place rule, allowing the secretary of Agriculture to have authority over all food and
beverages sold on the school campus during the school day.
Fitness Integrated with Teaching (“FIT”) Kids Act, S. 2173/H.R. 3257
This legislation would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 to
encourage schools to provide regular physical education and activity. It requires annual state
and local educational agency report cards to include information on school health and
physical education programs and revises the professional development program for teachers
and principals to include training for physical and health education teachers, and training on
improving students’ health habits and participation in physical activities.
Healthy Students Act of 2007, S. 100
The bill amends the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act to require the director of
CDC to establish a commission to improve school meals, composed of nutrition and
children’s health experts tasked with developing new nutritional standards for the School
Lunch, Summer Food Service, Child and Adult Care Food, and School Breakfast programs.
Requires such standards to ban foods of minimal nutritional value.
78
SPONSORS
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS)
Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT)
Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA)
Rep. Chris Shays (R-CT)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
LEGISLATION
School Nutrition & Physical Education
Nutrition Title of the EAT Healthy America Act, H.R. 1600
The bill would expand the fresh fruit and vegetable program to serve students in more schools
and instruct the secretary of Agriculture to ensure that allocation of food and food ingredients
offered in school nutrition programs are based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines
for Americans.
Strengthening Physical Education Act of 2007, H.R. 1224
The bill would make physical education part of No Child Left Behind’s core curriculum. The bill
requires physical education assessments to begin by the 2009-2010 school year, including
measurement of students’ proficiency at least one time during: (1) grades 3 through 6; (2)
grades 6 through 9; and (3) grades 10 through 12.
Healthy Workforce
Healthy Workforce Act, S. 1753/H.R. 3717
The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers a 50 percent tax credit for
the costs of providing employees with a qualified wellness program. Defines “qualified
wellness program” as a program that is certified by the secretary of HHS and that consists
of a health awareness and education component, a behavioral change component, and a
supportive environment component. Terminates such credit after 2017. Requires the
secretary of the Treasury to institute an outreach program to inform businesses about the
availability of such wellness program tax credit.
Workforce Health Improvement Program Act, S. 1038/H.R. 1748
The bill excludes from the gross income of employees the value of any on-premises
employer-provided athletic facility and fees, dues, or membership expenses paid to an
athletic or fitness facility by an employer. The value cannot exceed $900 per employee per
year. It also allows employers a tax deduction for fees, dues, or membership expenses paid
to an athletic or fitness facility.
Built Environment
Complete Streets Act, S. 2686/ H.R. 5951
The bill ensures that “all users of the transportation system, including pedestrians, bicyclists,
and transit users as well as children, older individuals, and individuals with disabilities, are
able to travel safely and conveniently on streets and highways.”311
Healthy Places Act, S. 1067/H.R. 398
The bill requires Federal agencies to support health impact assessments and take other
actions to improve health and the environmental quality of communities. The health impact
assessments will include consideration of the potential health effects of land use, housing, and
transportation policy and plans, including-: (a) background on international efforts to bridge
urban planning and public health institutions and disciplines, including a review of health
impact assessment best practices internationally; (b) evidence-based causal pathways that link
urban planning, transportation, and housing policy and objectives to human health objectives;
(c) data resources and quantitative and qualitative forecasting methods to evaluate both the
status of health determinants and health effects; and (d) best practices for inclusive public
involvement in planning decision-making. The bill also requires grants to institutions to
conduct and coordinate research on the built environment and connection to health outcomes.
Play Every Day Act, S. 651/H.R. 2045
This bill requires the secretary of HHS to develop the Community Play Index to measure the
policy, program, or environmental barriers in communities to participating in physical activity.
The bill also requires the secretary to award grants to state health departments for work in
partnership with community-based coalitions to plan and implement model communities of play.
Financial Incentives
Personal Health Investment Today Act, H.R. 245
The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to treat up to $1,000 of amounts paid annually for
exercise equipment and physical exercise programs as tax deductible medical expenses.
SPONSORS
Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-CA)
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-FL)
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR)
Rep. Tom Udall (D-NM)
Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-CA)
Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL)
Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA)
Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)
Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO)
Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX)
Rep. Jerry Weller (R-IL)
79
H. FUNDING FOR CDC OBESITY GRANTS
The proposed budget from the administration for FY 2009 flat-funds or cuts a number
of cooperative agreement grant programs
that focus on obesity prevention and health
promotion at CDC, including the Division
of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity,
the Division of Adolescent and School
Health, and the Division of Adult and
Community Health.312
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity,
and Obesity (DNPAO): Through its
Nutrition and Physical Activity Program
to Prevent Obesity and Other Chronic
Diseases, the DNPAO funds programs
that use various nutrition and physical
activity intervention strategies to address
obesity and other chronic diseases.313
States that are awarded DNPAO grants
are required to create, implement and
monitor a nutrition, physical activity and
obesity state plan; monitor the prevalence
of overweight, obesity, nutrition quality
and physical activity levels; and monitor
the impact of their program in changing
overweight and obesity related behaviors,
including evaluating progress and effectiveness of their annual work plan. Under
the new 5-year grant cycle that began in
June 2008, 23 states received funding, 5
fewer than the previous grant cycle.
Division of Adolescent and School Health
(DASH): As part of its mission to prevent
the most serious health risk behaviors
among children, adolescents and young
adults, DASH currently provides funding
for state and territorial education agencies
and tribal governments to help school districts and schools implement a
Coordinated School Health Program
(CSHP), and, through this approach,
increase effectiveness of policies, programs, and practices to promote physical
activity, nutrition, and tobacco-use prevention (PANT) among students.314 School
health programs encompass health and
physical education, school meals, health
services, and healthy school environments.
80
The Coordinated School Health Program
is currently available to only 22 states and
one tribal government due to limited
funds. Twenty states, the District of
Columbia, 4 tribes and 3 territories were
approved but unfunded in the latest grant
cycle, beginning on March 1, 2008.
Division of Adult and Community
Health (DACH): DACH is charged with
providing crosscutting chronic disease
and health promotion expertise and
support to CDC’s National Center for
Chronic Disease Prevention and Health
Promotion. It oversees 2 crucial programs in the fight to prevent and treat
obesity: the Steps Program and the
Pioneering Healthier Communities
program.
The Steps Program funds communities
across the country to show how local initiatives can reduce the burden of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and
asthma by encouraging people to be
more physically active, eat a healthy
diet, and not use tobacco.315 Steps programs have demonstrated progress in
reducing obesity in community-based
interventions; reducing chronic disease
risk factors and health care costs in
workplaces; creating healthier school
environments including the provision
of nutritious foods and physical activity
enhancements; and reducing A1c levels
among diabetes patients. The Administration has proposed cutting the Steps
program by $9.6 million in FY 2009,
which represents a 60% reduction for
the program over the last 2 years.
The Pioneering Healthier Communities
program, a partnership with CDC and
the YMCA of the USA, addresses physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity and
related chronic diseases in communities
across our nation. Pioneering Healthier
Communities convenes action teams of
community leaders that assess local
needs and determine a local strategy for
changes in schools, worksites, food distribution, the built environment, and
the community environment. CDC provides limited funds to support community planning and implementation; consultation is provided throughout the
planning and implementation of local
plans. Pioneering Healthier Communities impacts 20 new communities each
year; over 60 communities have been
reached since FY 2005. The Administration has proposed zeroing out the
Pioneering Healthier Communities
program in FY 2009.
FY 2009 Presidential Appropriations Request for CDC
Programs and Divisions316
Division/Program
FY 2008
$42,191,000
President’s
FY 2009
Proposal
$42,018,000
Difference in
Funding
(FY09-FY08)
-$173,000
Division of Nutrition, Physical
Activity and Obesity (DNPAO)
Division of Adolescent School
Health
Steps to a Healthier U.S.
Pioneering Healthier
Communities
$54,323,000*
$53,612,000*
-$711,000
$25,158,000
$2,900,000
$15,541,000
$0
-$9,617,000
-$2,900,000
Source: CDC Financial Management Office
*Note: This includes funds for HIV programs. DASH’s Coordinated School Health Program, which deals specifically with
nutrition and physical activity, was funded at $13,609,000 in FY 2008. The President’s FY 2009 budget proposal recommended $13,553,000 for the program.
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5
A National Strategy To
Combat Obesity
SECTION
INTRODUCTION
“
ALTHOUGH THE GENERAL PUBLIC HAS BECOME INCREASINGLY AWARE OF THE
PERSONAL HEALTH CONSEQUENCES OF OBESITY, WHAT MAY NOT YET BE GENERALLY
APPARENT IS THE PUBLIC HEALTH NATURE OF THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC AND THE
”
CONSEQUENT NEED FOR POPULATION-BASED APPROACHES TO ADDRESS IT.317
— THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
O
besity is a genuine health crisis in this country. With approximately 23 million children overweight or obese, this could be the first
generation to lead sicker, shorter lives than their parents. In the past 2
decades, adult obesity rates have climbed from 15 percent to 30 percent.318
Now, two-thirds of adults are obese or overweight.
Individuals are suffering major health consequences, and it is costing the economy billions of dollars in health care and lost productivity. We are failing America’s children
by allowing them to develop health problems
like type 2 diabetes and heart disease that will
harm them for their entire lives. As a nation,
we cannot have a healthy economy if we do
not have a healthy workforce. As jobs go
overseas to countries with cheaper health
care, the obesity epidemic is threatening our
ability to compete in the global economy.
The question is what can we do about it?
It is not the role of government to regulate how people eat or how much they
should exercise.
It is the role of government to remove the
obstacles that get in the way of individuals
making healthy choices.
It is important to challenge Americans to take
responsibility to be as healthy as they can be.
Millions of Americans have been trying to take
personal responsibility. As a nation, we spend
more than $35 billion a year on weight-loss
products and services. Yet, many Americans
report that they struggle with paying the higher costs of nutritious foods and the stresses of
working and taking care of their households
and families, which leave little time for preparing healthy meals and physical activity.
Clearly a strategy of personal responsibility alone is not working. People do not
make health-related or lifestyle decisions
in vacuums.
Many of the forces that have contributed to
our national weight gain are deeply
ingrained in our culture, such as an increase
in prepared foods and eating in restaurants,
and the greater distances people have
between home, work, schools, and shopping
areas that lead to an increased need for cars
and motorized transportation to get around.
83
Change will not be easy. It is the role and
responsibility of government, businesses,
and communities to help individuals deal
with the forces that are beyond their control. In fact, communities across the country have started taking action to try to
address the crisis. Many states are improving the quality of school lunches; some state
and local governments are increasing safe
and clean parks; and farmers markets are
opening in some low-income communities.
But this is only a start.
For significant change to happen, combating obesity must become a national priority.
The country’s health and economic wellbeing require that we take action. Our leaders need to take the obesity problem seriously and make a real commitment to helping the country become healthier.
Over the past 8 years IOM, HHS and the
Surgeon General’s Office have all issued
reports on the obesity epidemic in the
United States.319,320,321,322 The reports have
set goals and objectives and included recommendations for federal, state, and local
government, community groups, businesses, schools, families, and individuals to
help meet them. Despite these high-level
calls to action, there is little evidence of
any national framework to respond to the
obesity epidemic.
TFAH calls on the country’s leaders to create
a National Strategy to Combat O besity. This
needs to be a comprehensive, realistic plan
that involves every agency of the federal government, state and local governments, businesses, communities, schools, families, and
individuals. It must outline clear roles and
responsibilities and demand accountability.
Our leaders should challenge the entire
nation to take responsibility and do their part
to help improve our nation’s health.
As a primary goal, the Nat ional St rat egy t o
Combat O bes it y should aim to reduce the
childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.
A turnaround will not happen overnight.
The same way research has shown we cannot
84
realistically expect people to individually
lose significant amounts of weight in a short
period of time and sustain that weight loss,
we must avoid approaching the national
strategy as if it were the policy equivalent of
a fad diet. This is about finding ways to
improve the health of the country for the
long term.
The good news is that even small changes
can make a big impact.
For individuals, a 5 to 10 percent reduction in total weight can lead to positive
health benefits, such as reducing the risk
for type 2 diabetes.323 Individual goals
should focus on research-based solutions, which show health benefits from
increasing physical activity and improving the nutritional value of the foods we
eat. Weight-loss goals should focus on
realistic, incremental changes and support strategies for helping sustain
lifestyle changes.
An increase in physical activity, even without any accompanying weight loss, can
mean significant health improvements
for many individuals. A physically active
lifestyle plays an important role in preventing many chronic diseases, including
coronary heart disease, hypertension,
and type 2 diabetes.324,325,326,327
For the country, community efforts to
reduce obesity and increase physical activity can have a significant health and monetary return on investment.
A Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat O bes it y
must include:
A. Federal government, involving presidential and Congressional leadership, every
Cabinet department, adequate funding,
and clear performance measures.
B. State government.
C. Local government.
D. Community and faith-based organizations.
E. Schools.
F. Families and individuals.
G. Employers.
H. Insurers.
I. Food and beverage industries.
J. Agribusiness and farmers.
K. Health researchers and evaluators.
TFAH has also identified some special topics
(Section L) that must receive increased attention as part of a National Strategy, including
racial and ethnic disparities, rural childhood
obesity, and mental health, stress and obesity.
The components of the Nat ional St rat egy
t o Combat O bes it y are based on the evidence cited throughout this report.
GETTING STARTED
“
SUCCESS “MAY TAKE SEVERAL YEARS OR DECADES AND REQUIRE THE SUSTAINED
AND COORDINATED IMPLEMENTATION OF A COMPREHENSIVE AND INTEGRATED
SPECTRUM OF STRATEGIES AND ACTIONS TO PRODUCE THE NECESSARY CHANGE IN A
-- INCLUDING STRUCTURAL, INSTITUTIONAL, SYSTEMIC,
ENVIRONMENTAL, BEHAVIORAL, AND HEALTH OUTCOMES.328
VARIETY OF OUTCOMES
— INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
TFAH calls upon the next president to make
obesity prevention and control a priority of
his administration. Within the first 3 months
of taking office, the president should convene a sub-cabinet working group to address
the issue. In the past, health officials often
have been called on to develop solutions in
isolation. There are many factors, however,
that are beyond the ability of health officials
to influence by themselves. In addition, the
ramifications of the obesity crisis impact the
nation’s economy and global standing. A
new model must address obesity across every
sector of the government. The National
Strategy for Pandemic Influenza Planning
provides a strong example for how this type
of effort can be undertaken. With leadership
and goals identified by health agencies and
experts, every cabinet agency has taken
charge of developing and implementing policies and programs in their jurisdiction that
all contribute to our nation’s preparedness
for a pandemic flu outbreak.
”
To help outline how different agencies
impact obesity and why a federal government approach is necessary, TFAH has
conducted a review of federal government
programs and policies (See Appendix C:
Over view of Federal Programs That
Impact Obesity).
A Nat io nal St rat egy t o Co m bat O bes it y
will work best with strong leadership from
the president and Congress, goals and
strategies outlined by health experts, and
coordination of all of the different
Cabinet agencies to leverage all of the government’s resources. Therefore, the subcabinet working group will consult regularly with an Obesity Prevention Advisory
Board made up of representatives from
state and local government, schools, community and religious groups, business,
including the food and beverage industry
and farmers, insurance companies, and
researchers and scientists.
85
A. FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
“
FIRST AND FOREMOST THE GOVERNMENT PROVIDES LEADERSHIP, WHICH IT
DEMONSTRATES BY MAKING THE RESPONSE TO THE OBESITY EPIDEMIC AN URGENT
PUBLIC HEALTH PRIORITY AND COORDINATING THE PUBLIC- AND
PRIVATE-SECTOR RESPONSE.329
JUST AS IT HAS DONE WITH AUTOMOBILE AND HIGHWAY SAFETY INITIATIVES,
EFFORTS TO CURB YOUTH SMOKING, AND CURRENT EFFORTS TO DEFEND AGAINST
POTENTIAL BIOTERRORIST THREATS, THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SHOULD SET FORTH
OBESITY PREVENTION AS A NATIONAL HEALTH PRIORITY - ONE THAT IS ACTED UPON
THROUGH EXTENSIVE AND SUSTAINED FUNDING AND A LONG-TERM COMMITMENT
OF RESOURCES.330
”
— INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
The federal government has the unique ability
to set priorities and bring together state and
local governments, the private sector, and communities to work towards solutions. The federal government has the leadership position to be
able to develop and set goals for implementing
a National Strategy to Combat O besity .
In addition, the federal government can
institute policies and programs that give
Americans the tools they need to make it
easier to engage in the recommended
levels of physical activity and choose
healthy foods.
1. Presidential and White House Leadership
As the leader of the country, the president has
the most important role to play in the
National Strategy to Combat O besity .
Acknowledge That Obesity is a National
Priority
The president must take responsibility for
ensuring the future health of the country.
The president must lead the movement to
make the United States a country that
encourages and fosters healthy living by
supporting policies that remove the obstacles that get in the way of individuals making healthy choices.
Ensure Sufficient Funding to Implement
and Evaluate Obesity Policies
If the U.S. is serious about reversing the
obesity trend, the president and Congress
86
need to work together to put substantial
resources behind the National Strategy to
Combat O besity . This requires an honest
assessment from all federal government
departments and agencies regarding their
responsibilities under the plan and the
resources they will need to fully implement
and evaluate their programs. Funding
must also come from state and local governments to address this shared responsibility. The funding must include an investment to increase both scientific research to
develop effective, wide-scale public health
solutions and to provide communities with
the capacities and resources needed to
make changes. The federal government
needs to make a serious national commitment to this public health crisis.
FEDERAL FUNDING FOR OBESITY-RELATED PROGRAMS
“There is a marked underinvestment in the prevention of childhood obesity
and related chronic diseases.”331
— Institute of Medicine (IOM)
Despite the numerous government reports
on the worsening obesity epidemic and various studies showing the economic burden of
obesity on government and the private sector,
federal funding for nutrition, physical activity,
and obesity programs has remained virtually
flat over the past 3 years for 2 major programs and declined sharply for a third.
Source: CDC’s Financial Management Office, Budget Requests for FY2005 through FY2009. Available online at
http://www.cdc.gov/fmo/fmofybudget.htm. As noted previously, DASH funding is primarily for HIV prevention activities
and not obesity-related programs.
Communicate that Reversing the Obesity
Epidemic is a National and Governmentwide Priority
The president should require all federal
departments and agencies to consider
the impact on physical activity and nutrition of all major policy initiatives.
The president should convene a sub-cabinet
working group on government-wide
approaches to combating key public health
problems, like obesity. The working group
would report to the president or the White
House chief of staff through the assistant to
the president for domestic policy.
The president should establish an Obesity
Prevention Advisory Board to consult with
the sub-cabinet working group on the development of the National Strategy to
Combat O besity . The advisory board would
also serve as a watchdog over federal obesity
prevention and control efforts and set shortand long-term goals on obesity issues.
The president should appoint a secretary of
HHS who shares a vision that focuses on
reversing the obesity epidemic and fostering a healthy environment, not solely on
treating the problems of obesity after it has
become a problem, and who will organize
and strengthen HHS.
The president should ensure that health system reform proposals consider the integration of public health and prevention.
The president should direct federal agencies to coordinate a nationwide public
education campaign that highlights mental and physical health as a combined
entity and encourages people to be as
healthy as they can be. The campaign
should include messages regarding stress
and stress reduction given the association
between poor health outcomes, including obesity, and high levels of stress.
87
2. Obesity-Prevention as a Priority Across All Cabinet Departments
“
OBESITY PREVENTION IS A CROSS-CUTTING ISSUE THAT DOES NOT NATURALLY
FALL UNDER THE PURVIEW OF ANY ONE FEDERAL DEPARTMENT.332
— THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
Addressing obesity should not be viewed as
the sole responsibility of HHS. Instead, it is
something in which all federal agencies
should participate. In fact, while HHS
shoulders a large burden of the costs of obesity-related treatments and illness as borne
by Medicare and Medicaid, the agency is just
one of many federal agencies with an important role to play in the obesity fight.
Instead, much of the implementation of current obesity and physical activity initiatives
occurs in other cabinet departments, such as
the U.S. Departments of Agriculture,
Education,
Housing,
Interior,
and
Transportation. (See Appendix C: Overview of
Federal Programs That Impact Obesity.)
HHS, however, plays an essential role in providing technical and policy leadership on
obesity as a health issue, and funding
research into effective interventions.
TFAH recommends the following actions to
improve cross-government collaboration:
Federal Government Review
With the president’s support and encouragement, federal agencies should undertake a detailed review of their programs and
budgets and examine how they impact
physical activity, nutrition, and obesity.
”
Upon the completion of such a review, each
agency should propose ways it can participate in and implement aspects of the
National Strategy to Combat O besity .
Designate High-Level Officials in Each
Department to Address Obesity
The president should order the designation of an official in each cabinet department who focuses on obesity-related policies. The official would work within each
department to examine the implications
of policies and activities -- from agriculture to transportation -- on obesity.
Health Impact Assessments
The president should require that federal departments and agencies evaluate
and report on the health impact, particularly the impact on physical activity and
nutrition, of new domestic policies, programs, and annual budgets.
Many
European jurisdictions employ similar
processes and several U.S. localities, such
as Seattle-King County in Washington
State, Tri-County in Michigan, Hennepin
County in Minnesota, Riverside County
and San Francisco in California, have
recently adopted this approach.
THE IMPACT OF NEIGHBORHOODS ON OBESITY
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development’s (HUD’s) Moving to
Opportunity (MTO) program provided thousands of poor adults and children an opportunity to use HUD vouchers to move out of
public housing in high poverty neighborhoods
to lower poverty neighborhoods. The 10year demonstration project ran from 19922002. A HUD evaluation examined the
88
impact of the move on a number of variables,
including obesity on the assumption that
“moves to low-poverty neighborhoods may
reduce obesity through several mechanisms:
lower incidence of depression and stress;
behavioral changes (like exercise); and different social norms about eating habits.”333 The
evaluation found that obesity rates fell among
adults and children in the MTO program.334
Worksite Wellness for Federal Employees
The president should establish a program that can assist federal employees in
achieving healthy lifestyles as well as fos-
ter public health awareness among
employees. This approach will serve as an
important model for the private sector.
OVERWEIGHT AND OBESITY IN THE MILITARY
A 1992 IOM report “Body Composition and
Physical Performance: Applications for the
Military Services” noted that “obesity is associated with being unfit and ‘un-soldierly.’”335
Military recruiters dismiss volunteers based
solely on height and weight before entering
the service on the presumption that they are
not physically fit enough to enlist, train, and
serve. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the obesity epidemic that is affecting the general U.S. population is also posing problems for the U.S. military. Among new military recruits the percentage of overweight and obesity among 18year old civilian applicants increased from 25.6
percent in 1993 to 33.9 percent in 2006.336
often discharged. In fact, every year
between 3,000 and 5,000 enlisted members
are forced to leave the military for being
overweight.339 A 1995 Defense Department
study estimated the average cost of recruiting and training a replacement enlisted member to be $40,283, or $56,782 in 2008 inflation-adjusted dollars.340,341 This costs the
Department of Defense between $170 million and $284 million a year and does not
include additional obesity-related medical
expenses. A separate 2007 study estimated
that the U.S. military healthcare system, TRICARE, spends $1.1 billion annually to treat
overweight- and obesity-related diseases.342
The problem is not limited to new recruits.
According to a U.S. military spokeswoman, 16
percent of active duty personnel are obese.337
Some branches of the military are more affected
than others. For instance, the U.S. Navy reports
that 62 percent of its members are overweight
and 17 percent are obese, while the U.S. Air
Force reports that 55 percent of airmen are
overweight and nearly 12 percent are obese.338
To combat the growing obesity problem
among U.S. servicemen and women, each of
the armed services has developed programs
to promote fitness and health: the Army has
Weigh to Stay; the Navy and Marine Corps
have ShipShape; the Air Force has Fit to
Fight. These programs use nutrition and fitness counseling to move military personnel
and their families toward healthier food
choices, exercise habits, and lifestyles.
Service members who exceed height-weight
guidelines for their branch of the military are
TFAH recommends the following federallevel actions to prevent and control obesity.
The following recommendations should not
be seen as a comprehensive list of federal
policy actions, but a starting point for government action. At all times, federal poli-
cies should be viewed as setting a floor for
action to combat obesity and not a ceiling,
meaning that state and local governments
should be empowered to take more dramatic action when possible.
89
3. Federal Government and Schools
Nutrition Policy
USDA should issue revised school nutrition guidelines that ensure that American
schoolchildren are consuming foods recommended in the most recent Dietary
Guidelines for Americans (DGAs).
Although it has been 3 years since the
release of the 2005 DGAs, USDA has been
unable to develop new guidelines. If the
current timetable holds, new guidelines
are not expected until 2010 at the earliest.
Physical Education & Activity Policies
The U.S. Department of Education, in
collaboration with HHS and the
President’s Council on Physical Fitness,
should set national standards for physical
education and physical activity in schools.
Given the growing body of evidence link-
ing physical activity with academic performance there is an added incentive to
mandate physical activity.
The administration and Congress should
review the Department of Education’s 21st
Century Community Learning Centers and
consider an expansion of their mission to
include physical activity, health, nutrition
counseling, and nutrition activities.
The administration and Congress should
review the Department of Education’s Carol
M. White Physical Education Program, and
consider an expansion of the federal grant
program so that more local educational
agencies and organizations can participate
and work to initiate, expand, and improve
physical education programs for students.
THE PRESIDENT’S CHALLENGE ADULT FITNESS TEST
In an effort to get adults to be more active,
the President’s Council on Physical Fitness
and Sports introduced the adult fitness test in
May of 2008. According to Melissa Johnson,
the executive director of the council, “what
we are trying to do is inspire and motivate
Americans to move their bodies more.”343
The test includes 3 basic components of
health: aerobic fitness, muscular strength
and flexibility. Each component contains a
test to assess overall health: a one-mile walk
or 1.5-mile run to gauge cardiovascular fitness, one minute of half sit-ups and push-ups
to failure to determine strength, and the sitand-reach exercise to measure flexibility.344
Individuals are encouraged to visit the adult fitness test website at www.adultfitnesstest.org
to learn more about the test as well as record
results and receive an evaluation.
4. Federal Government and Business
Be Model Employers
Government agencies should set an
example for private businesses and
organizations by placing a priority on
employees’ health and assure comprehensive benefits for obesity within the
Federal Employee Health Benefit Plan.
Incentivize the Private Sector to Provide
Wellness Programs
Federal, state, and local governments
should find ways to incentivize or encourage employers to provide workplace
90
wellness programs and preventive care
coverage to their employees.
Update and Increase Obesity-Related
Coverage
Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP should
update and increase obesity-related coverage and reimbursement for preventive
services (e.g. nutrition counseling and
physical activity programming) and set an
example for private insurers. (See Section 3:
State Responsibilities and Policies for a detailed
legal analysis of current state insurance policies.)
5. Federal Government and the Food and Beverage Industries
Work with Industry to Limit Advertising
to Children
Work with Industry on Portion Size and
Labeling
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC),
Department of Commerce, and HHS
should convene a national summit of
food, beverage, and confectionery companies to discuss voluntary restrictions on
marketing and advertising of unhealthful
foods to children and youth. These
measures would apply to television and
radio advertising and newer media,
including internet, video gaming, DVDs,
and other non-traditional means of
advertising. If voluntary measures do not
go far enough, the federal government
should pursue regulatory action to limit
advertising and marketing as was done
with the tobacco manufacturers.
FTC, the Food and Drug Administration
(FDA), USDA, Department of Commerce,
and other relevant federal agencies should
work with industry and retail outlets to develop clear and useful nutrition labeling and to
ensure that packaged foods and meals
reflect the recommended portion sizes.
Retail food outlets in particular are routinely
selling meals that are 2 to 3 times larger than
what food labels list as a serving.345
The Department of Education should ban
all marketing and advertising of unhealthy
foods in schools. This includes:
• Advertising on Channel One, a news
and public affairs content provider to
many high schools and middle schools,
• Product sales, through vending machines,
soft drink “pouring rights” agreements,
branded fast food, and fundraisers;
• Indirect advertising, such as corporatesponsored educational programs, sports
sponsorships, and incentive programs
using contests and coupons.
Require Retail Food Outlets to Provide
Menu Labeling
FDA, USDA, Department of Commerce,
and other relevant federal agencies
should work with retail food outlets to
provide better and more readily accessible information about the nutritional
content of their products. If voluntary
agreements do not work, regulatory
approaches should be considered.
Remove Barriers to Breastfeeding
HHS should work with hospitals and health
care providers and food industry representatives to broker a voluntary agreement to
halt free infant formula distribution at hospitals to encourage breastfeeding. An evaluation of the voluntary ban should guide
future decisions to continue the voluntary
ban, and perhaps, make it binding.
91
6. Federal Government and Agriculture
Examine Subsidies for Growing Fruits
and Vegetables
Congress and the administration should
evaluate farm policy and eliminate barriers to the domestic production of fruits
and vegetables. A major barrier to their
production is the government subsidies
for corn, wheat, soybeans, rice, and cotton which range from $10 billion to $25
billion a year.
Support Small Farmers and Local Food
Systems
USDA should support farmers markets,
farm-to-school, urban gardens, and other
programs that bring fresh, locally grown
food into communities, especially those
that are underserved by major grocery
stores. By providing consumers with
greater choice the government can help
create demand for locally grown fresh
produce and incentivize the return of
small farms to this market.
Incentivize Healthy Food Consumption
According to USDA’s Economic Research
Service the cost of fresh fruit and vegetables rose 40 percent between 1985 and
2000, while the cost of high-fructose corn
syrup and vegetable oils declined. USDA
should study the factors behind this discrepancy and offer policy solutions to
make it economically viable for
Americans to buy fresh produce. Policy
solutions include the following:
• Funding and technical advice for city residents interested in planting and tending
urban fruit and vegetable gardens.
• Financial and logistical support for
farmers markets.
• Re-directing commodities subsidies to
fruit and vegetable growers.
Revise School and Government
Procurement Policies
USDA should reexamine its child nutrition programs and ensure that they
encourage the consumption of healthy
foods, including the recommended daily
amount of fruits, vegetables, and whole
grains. By setting higher nutritional standards, or expanding food assistance packages to include more produce (as was
done with WIC), USDA can increase the
demand for fresh fruits and vegetables
and ensure a market for farmers who
produce these goods.
7. Federal Government and Research
Strengthen Primary Data Collection
Systems
Researchers and public health practitioners need better data. A strong national
surveillance system is crucial to assess
Americans’ health. The federal government must renew and deepen its investment in the National Center for Health
Statistics, specifically in the National
Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey (NHANES), the National Survey
on Children’s Health, the Behavior Risk
Factor Surveillance System, and others.
Researchers need better data on children, particularly children in the 5 to 14years age group. They need to know what
92
is going on in their environments. As the
2007 IOM report on childhood obesity
notes, “surveillance is particularly lacking
regarding the environmental and institutional changes that are being implemented with the goal of promoting healthful
eating and regular physical activity.”346
Fund Community-Level Research and
Evaluation
According to the IOM report “Progress in
Preventing Childhood Obesity”, “the gap
between the opportunity for evaluations
and the capacity to conduct evaluations at
the local level appears to be a significant
impediment to the identification and
widespread adoption of effective child-
hood obesity prevention programs.”347 To
address the lack of local-level program
evaluation, TFAH echoes IOM’s recommendations, which include the following:
• Local program managers should receive
funding specifically to carry out program evaluations in partnership with
colleges, universities, or other community groups with expertise.
• Government agencies and research
institutions should offer technical assistance to local community groups.
• Government agencies and local government/community groups should communicate frequently about on-theground success stories.
B. STATE GOVERNMENT
“
OF COURSE, PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY IS A CRUCIAL PART OF ANY SOLUTION,
BUT GOVERNMENT AND GOVERNORS ALSO HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE.348
— NATIONAL GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION (NGA)
In the campaign to stop and prevent obesity,
the role of the state government is similar in
many ways to the role of the federal government. States should provide top-level leadership on this issue and devote more resources
-- both financial and manpower -- towards
combating the problem. States, however, are
closer to the action on the ground and can
direct focused efforts towards the problem.
Development of the Nat ional St rat egy t o
Combat O bes it y should occur with state
and local input, reflecting the shared
responsibility of all jurisdictions for the
health of Americans. In parallel with the
development of the national strategy, states
should:
Develop State-Specific Obesity Plans
Using best practices put forth by CDC and
based on the most up-to-date scientific evidence, states should develop their own
plans to combat obesity using policy and
environmental changes. These state-level
plans should be tailored to meet individual
states’ needs and use culturally competent
strategies to engage various communities
within the state. These plans should:
involve multiple state agencies; assign specific roles and responsibilities to state agencies; contain clear and measurable objec-
”
tives, including objectives that are related to
reducing obesity rates; link state funding to
objectives; include private sector and community groups; contain provisions for a
healthier state workforce; and incorporate
a system for evaluation and review. (See
Section 3: State Responsibilities and Policies for a
discussion of current state obesity plans.)
Evaluate Their Roles and Delegate
Responsibilities Among State Agencies
Similar to the federal review and with the
support of each state’s governor, state
agencies should undertake a review of
their programs and examine how they
impact physical activity, nutrition, and obesity. Upon the completion of such a review,
each agency should propose ways they can
participate in and implement aspects of
their state’s strategic obesity plan.
Dedicate State Revenues to Implementing
the National Strategy to Combat Obesity
The National Strategy to Combat O besity
will also require states to contribute to funding obesity prevention efforts. Federal and
state governments should undertake an
assessment to determine how much each
state should be required to contribute in
order to qualify for federal funds. Different
93
states have different needs. Some states
have a higher burden of obesity and obesity-related diseases, and therefore, a higher
level of investment may be needed to
achieve goals for improving the health of
people in those states. An investment by
states will also show a commitment by the
state government to improving health. As
the 2007 IOM report on childhood obesity
noted, “the overall capacity to address childhood obesity is not enhanced when increases in federal funding are responded to by
decreases at the state level. A sustained
effort that includes adequate planning and
cooperation is needed among governmental agencies and departments and other
stakeholder groups at these levels to effectively work together.”349
State Government Employee Wellness
Efforts
State and local governments are employers
as well as providers of governance and public service. Many governors have begun
initiatives to provide workplace wellness
and preventive health care services, including: premium discounts, subsidies for
fitness clubs and activities, disease management programs, and information to state
employees, such as nutrition, physical
activity, and obesity counseling. All states
should offer these programs and should
also provide these models to private
businesses to expand these opportunities
to private employees as well.
State and local government should also
assure that their state employee health
insurance plans cover appropriate obesity-related services.
Update and Increase Obesity-Related
Coverage
State Medicaid and SCHIP programs
should update and increase obesity-related coverage and reimbursement for preventive services (e.g. nutrition counseling
and physical activity programming) and
set an example for private insurers.
States should also assess their insurance
regulations to assure equitable access to
health insurance for those who are obese
or overweight and to assure adequate coverage for treatment and services directly
related to obesity. (See Section 3: State
Responsibilities and Policies for a detailed legal
analysis of current state insurance policies.)
Leverage Power as Food Purchaser
The state public sector purchases food
across a range of institutions, including in
government cafeterias, schools, and prisons.
The government should leverage its power
as a food purchaser to require a greater
emphasis on nutritional value as a priority in
the bidding process for these contracts.
Create Healthy Schools
The state departments of health and education should work together to implement
a coordinated school health program to
create a healthy school environment.
Evaluate Current Snack Tax and Liability
Limitation Policies
States should devote time and resources
to developing evaluation standards to
monitor the effectiveness of both types of
controversial initiatives.
THE NATIONAL GOVERNOR’S ASSOCIATION HEALTHY STATES PROGRAM
The National Governor’s Association (NGA)
has made obesity prevention a priority since
2002 even establishing a bi-partisan taskforce of
governors to provide leadership on this issue.
NGA focuses on promoting a culture of wellness to improve Americans’ health and thus
increase our global competitiveness and lower
health care costs. NGA’s report Creating
Healthy States: Actions for Governors encour94
ages governors to focus their efforts in 3 areas:
communities, worksites, and schools.350
The report highlights best practices from various states around the nation in order to foster the exchange of ideas and success stories
among governors and state officials. By highlighting what works, NGA hopes to encourage more state action to promote wellness.
NGA’S HEALTHY KIDS, HEALTHY AMERICA INITIATIVE
The Healthy Kids, Healthy America program
awards states funding for childhood obesity
prevention programs and statewide scans, or
reviews, of existing efforts. As of April 2008,
15 states have been awarded up to $110,000
to fund their childhood obesity prevention
programs. Of that sum, up to $100,000 can be
used to fund proposals to prevent childhood
obesity through environmental and policy
change, and up to $10,000 can be used to
conduct a statewide scan of current efforts
within their state to prevent childhood obesity.
The 2008 recipients are: Indiana, Kentucky,
Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island,
South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia,
West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
C. LOCAL GOVERNMENT
“
LOCAL GOVERNMENT PLAYS A COMPLEMENTARY ROLE TO STATE AND FEDERAL
OBESITY PREVENTION EFFORTS. IN PARTICULAR, LOCAL PUBLIC HEALTH DEPARTMENTS
ARE INVOLVED IN PROVIDING LEADERSHIP FOR THE HORIZONTAL INTEGRATION OF
INTERVENTIONS, COMMUNICATIONS, AND FUNDING REQUIREMENTS, AS WELL AS
DEVELOPING ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE FOR POLICIES AND PROGRAMS TO BE
”
IMPLEMENTED AND EVALUATED AT LOCAL LEVELS.351
— INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
Local government and community groups
often have the strongest direct impact on people’s health, and the National Strategy to
Combat O besity must rely on these groups to
implement programs and make positive
changes to the built environment. This will
require strong leadership from local health
officials and the ability of these officials to
communicate the importance of physical
activity and nutrition to their communities.
Experts should evaluate how local governments can or should help fund wellness, obesity, and physical activity programs. For many
local programs, relying on the local property
tax base, for instance, can lead to exacerbating pre-existing disparities among neighborhoods. As with many social issues, the lowestincome areas are the hardest hit by obesity
and obesity-related health problems.
Local government can act -- and act decisively -- in the area of the built environment and
retail food regulations. The environment
that surrounds people has a large effect on
individual choices, including the following:
A 2003 study found that suburban sprawl is
linked to health. Not only are people in
more sprawling communities likely to have a
higher BMI, but they are also at increased
risk of suffering from hypertension or high
blood pressure. Based on the findings of the
study, people in the most sprawling areas are
likely to weigh 6 pounds more than those in
the most compact communities.352
A 2008 study found that people who live
near an abundance of fast food restaurants
and convenience stores are significantly
more likely to suffer from obesity and diabetes when compared to people living
near grocery stores and famers’ markets.353
Americans are interested in and support the
idea of healthy communities. One study
95
found that 90 percent of U.S. adults support
using local government funds for walking and
jogging trails, recreation centers, and bicycle
paths.354 Another study reported that 55 percent of Americans would like to walk more
and drive less, and 52 percent would like to
bicycle more.355 It appears that the demand is
there for communities to invest in building
bike paths and walking and running trails.
Local government plays a key role in changing the built environment so that it fosters
healthy eating and healthy lifestyles. From
issues related to zoning and public transportation, to funding for community-based
programs, local officials lead the way.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , local governments should:
Provide Improved Access to Healthy
Foods in Low-Income Areas
Healthy food access is a demonstrated
problem in many low-income communities. Communities should encourage the
development of and provide public space
for locally-operated produce markets and
farmers’ markets. Also, through the use of
incentives, communities should encourage
supermarkets and food shopping vendors
to locate in lower-income neighborhoods
and offer healthier food alternatives.
Use Zoning Laws to Change Food
Environment
Zoning laws can be used to encourage
healthy food providers to locate to underserved neighborhoods; local government
can also implement zoning laws to limit
fast-food restaurants or keep a certain
ratio of fast food restaurants to grocers
and farmers’ markets.
Encourage “Mixed Use” Areas
Communities and states should examine
and update zoning and land-use laws to
allow for more “mixed use” commercial
and residential communities, so people
can have more opportunities to walk or
bike to retail centers and to work.
96
Examine Health Impact of New Building
Communities should require “Health
Impact Assessments” for proposed land-use
and building projects, which will help communities and policy makers understand
the possible resulting changes to people’s
health, including access to recreational
space and to food shopping. These can be
based on the “Environmental Impact
Assessment” model.
Building Design Codes
Encourage new building design that is stairfriendly and offers other spaces that facilitate
activity in commercial and public buildings.
Encourage Greenspace Development
and Build More Sidewalks
Prioritize and incentivize increased
greenspace development through the
collaboration of public health and transportation entities in states. Communities
should also place greater emphasis on
building well-lit sidewalks and paths, particularly in new developments and
around highways, to make it possible for
people to walk safely.
Encourage Transportation Fund Use for
Mass Transit and Alternatives to Highways
Communities should insist that states and
counties require alternative proposals be
examined when new highway initiatives are
proposed. New development should also
be required to include pedestrian-friendly
components, such as sidewalks, which
encourage interconnectivity of communities and opportunities for activity. State
and federal transportation dollars should
be considered for mass transit, sidewalk,
and mixed use opportunities rather than
be focused on highway construction.
Modernize New School-Site Construction
Requirements
Local governments should review and
update old acreage requirements for new
school construction that required large
spaces for construction, but have ended
up resulting in the building of schools in
remote locations that students can often
only access by bus rather than by walking
or biking. Flexible standards for school
site construction would allow communities to build schools closer to existing
homes and commercial regions instead
of in remote areas.
Revitalize Walk-able Neighborhoods
Many cities and towns have downtown
areas that were at one time vibrant economic centers, but have since lost eco-
nomic investment. Many of these centers
have the necessary attributes to make
them walk-able and bike-able communities. Local governments should invest in
revitalizing old downtowns and occupying vacant buildings and lots.
Require Menu Labeling
Local governments should require restaurants to provide consumers with nutrition
information on in-store menus and menu
boards for the most popular items.
HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF MENU LABELING
In 2008, the Los Angeles County Department
of Public Health conducted a health impact
assessment of menu labeling. County health
officials were interested in determining the
effect of menu labeling on the obesity epidemic. Researchers used the conservative
assumption that nutrition labeling would
result in 10 percent of chain restaurant customers ordering reduced calorie meals, with
an average reduction of 100 calories per
meal, no increase in other food consumption,
and no increase in physical activity. Based on
this assumption the researchers found that
menu labeling would prevent nearly 40 percent of the estimated 6.75 million pounds
that Los Angeles County residents age 5 and
older gain in weight each year.356
EXAMPLES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT OBESITY-RELATED POLICY FIXES
New York, NY -- In January 2008, New
York City’s Board of Health issued a regulation requiring all restaurants that operate at
least 15 separate outlets to post calorie
counts on their menus and menu boards.
The new regulation will affect about 10 percent of all New York City restaurants.357
New York City had passed similar legislation
in 2006 but a U.S. district judge rejected the
measure on grounds that it violated federal
food-labeling laws. Although the State
Restaurant Association continues to challenge the regulation in court, on May 5,
2008 the City Health Department started
issuing citations to chain restaurants that
were not in compliance. Fines will not be
assessed until July.358 Similar legislation has
been enacted in San Francisco and
Seattle/King County, Washington, and is
under consideration by 21 other state and
local governments.359
Seattle, WA -- Active Seattle, a partnership
under Active Living by Design, is one of
many cities seeking to create walk-able
neighborhoods.360 Seattle chose 5 communities to implement the design. Some program accomplishments include:
Implementation of a Safe Routes to
School program at 2 elementary schools.
Completion of 10 walking audits in project area neighborhoods as part of the
assessment process.
Generation of over $494,000 in grants and
contributions for Safe Routes to Schools.
Advocating successfully for $875,000 in
spending for sidewalks and stairways in
the mayor’s budget, and generated an
addition $1.8 million supplemental funding
for sidewalks and crossings.
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THE GROCERY GAP
Residents in low-income and minority neighborhoods are less likely to have access to
fresh fruits and vegetables than people who
live in higher-income and predominantly
white neighborhoods.361 Large supermarkets, which have a better selection of fresh
produce and other healthy foods, such as
whole grains and lean proteins, tend to be
missing from low-income and minority communities across the United States.
According to The Food Trust, a Philadelphiabased organization whose mission is to
ensure that everyone has access to affordable, nutritious food, the so-called “‘grocery
gap’ existing today in many urban areas
resulted from the confluence of complex
social, economic and public policy factors.”362
When middle class whites left big cities in
the 1960’s and 1970’s for the suburbs, the
large supermarkets often followed, attracted
by larger, less expensive commercial tracts
of land, business-friendly zoning, and less
crime.363 In the place of supermarkets, lowincome and minority neighborhoods have
seen an influx of small grocers, convenience
stores and fast food restaurants.364 These
retail food outlets are less likely to sell fresh
produce and other healthy food options.
Researchers suggest the lack of healthy fresh
foods coupled with the glut of unhealthy
food choices contributes to the high rates of
obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease among low-income and
minority populations.365 To counter these
negative effects, a number of organizations,
such as the Food Trust, are working with
local officials to increase consumers’ access
to fresh produce and healthier food options.
Pennsylvania -- The Philadelphia-based
Food Trust was instrumental in launching the
Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative
(FFFI), a first of its kind program in the
United States that uses state and private
funds to bring supermarkets carrying a variety of healthy food into underserved lowincome, minority neighborhoods in an
attempt to improve eating habits and overall
health. As of January 2008, the FFFI had
committed $38.9 million in grants and loans
to 50 stores across the state, ranging in size
98
from 900 to 69,000 square feet. These projects are expected to bring 3,723 jobs and
1.2 million square feet of fresh food retail to
communities across Pennsylvania.366
New York, NY -- New York City has lost
one-third of its supermarkets over the past
6 years severely limiting lower-income residents’ access to fresh, healthy foods.367 In
early 2008, the City Council voted in favor
of a measure designed to increase the number of fruit and vegetable carts in underserved neighborhoods.368 The measure will
put up to 1,000 produce vendors on the
streets in 43 different police precincts. The
bill was opposed by members of a smaller
grocers’ association on the grounds that
these push cart vendors would take business
away from them while not actually increasing demand. City officials justified the measure by citing a 2006 New York City health
department survey that found that just 20
percent to 40 percent of smaller grocers, or
bodegas, carried apples, oranges and
bananas, while fewer than 6 percent stocked
leafy green vegetables.
New Orleans, LA -- In 2007, the New
Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee
published a 24-page report detailing the challenges faced by many residents of southern
Louisiana after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
According to the report, the storms drastically reduced the number of food retailers
serving the public at a time when there was
already a deficit of these outlets.369
Currently, there are only 15 supermarkets in
New Orleans, a city where public transportation is still unreliable and one-quarter of
residents don’t have cars.370 The Committee
made a number of recommendations for city
and state officials to remedy the problem,
including the provision of grants and loans to
small grocers and supermarkets. Large
supermarkets, however, are wary of opening
shop in New Orleans due in part to the devastation wrought by the 2005 hurricanes and
the lack of a local distribution network.
According to one supermarket manager, it is
a 14-hour round trip to his nearest distributor; few supermarkets are willing to pay
those kinds of transportation costs.371
D. COMMUNITY AND FAITH-BASED ORGANIZATIONS
“
BY STEPPING OUTSIDE THE TRADITIONAL VIEW OF OBESITY AS A MEDICAL
PROBLEM, WE MAY MORE FUNDAMENTALLY FOCUS ON THE MANY INSTITUTIONS,
ORGANIZATIONS, AND GROUPS IN A COMMUNITY THAT HAVE SIGNIFICANT ROLES TO
PLAY IN MAKING THE LOCAL ENVIRONMENT MORE CONDUCIVE TO HEALTHFUL
EATING AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITY.372
-- THE INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE
Although prevailing U.S. public opinion is
that obesity is an individual’s problem, the
reality of the epidemic is that it is often a
community’s problem. Communities are
affected when there are no easily accessible
grocery stores nearby. Communities are
affected when crime and violence prevent
children, youth, and adults from engaging
in
outdoor
physical
activities.
Communities are affected when unemployment rates are high and access to health
care is limited. Thus, community-based
and faith-based organizations have an
important role to play in the Nat io nal
St rat egy t o Co m bat O bes it y .
Community and faith-based organizations
can also help public health and local government officials tailor messages to their
members, particularly when interventions
are needed to address disparities in obesity
and physical activity among racial and ethnic groups.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , community and faith-based organizations should:
Incorporate Obesity Prevention
Messages into Events
”
Community and faith-based groups
should reach out to their members using
culturally-competent messages promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity.
Provide Opportunities for Safe and
Supervised Activity for Children
Community and faith-based groups should
develop and support organizations and
facilities that allow children to participate
in safe physical activity programs.
Provide No- or Low-Cost Physical Activity
Opportunities and Nutrition Counseling
Community and faith-based groups
should support no- and low-cost venues
for children and adults to participate in
physical activity. They can do so by maintaining parks and recreation centers and
offering the use of their own facilities to
other community groups that provide noor low-cost physical activity programs.
Offer Healthy Food at Community Events
Community and faith-based groups
should provide nutritious food at events
to help people foster and maintain
healthy eating habits.
99
EXAMPLES OF SUCCESSFUL CULTURALLY- APPROPRIATE INTERVENTIONS
Community and faith-based organizations
are instrumental in implementing successful
interventions. Different racial and ethnic
groups do not all have the same experiences
and priorities, and public health officials must
take these divergent backgrounds into
account when creating interventions in
order to achieve the health goals.
Project Dulce - San Diego, California
Project Dulce is a program based in San
Diego County that provides outreach, education, screening, diagnosis, and clinical care
to patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The program is aimed at lowincome, underinsured or uninsured Latino
adults. Project Dulce works because it targets the barriers that affect this population -specifically the language barrier between
patient and physician. The program involves
medical assistants who are bilingual, and features bilingual health education courses.
Project Dulce also trains community health
workers, or promotoras de salud, to raise
awareness about diabetes among the low-
income, Spanish-speaking population.
Incorporating this bilingual aspect into the
program increases the comprehension and
comfort of participants, thereby improving
the health of participants.
PATHWAYS - Arizona, New Mexico,
and South Dakota
PATHWAYS is a program for students in
grades 3-5 at schools in Native American
communities that promotes healthy eating
and increased physical activity. The PATHWAYS program involves Native American
leaders in the planning process in order to
engage their communities and earn their
trust, while also developing culturallyacceptable interventions. Classroom materials for the children include stories and activities based on fictional Native American children. Although the program did not yield
any statistically significant reductions in students’ percentage of body fat, it did affect
their knowledge, attitudes, and behavior
regarding healthy eating and physical activity.
Source: The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. 373
E. SCHOOLS
“
SCHOOLS CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT PART IN A NATIONAL EFFORT TO PREVENT
CHILDHOOD OBESITY. MORE THAN 95 PERCENT OF AMERICAN YOUTH AGED 5 TO 17 ARE
ENROLLED IN SCHOOL, AND NO OTHER INSTITUTION HAS AS MUCH CONTINUOUS AND
INTENSIVE CONTACT WITH CHILDREN DURING THEIR FIRST 2 DECADES OF LIFE.374
”
— MARY STORY, DIRECTOR OF THE ROBERT WOOD JOHNSON FOUNDATION’S HEALTHY EATING
RESEARCH PROGRAM.
Children spend a significant amount of
time in school and consume one-fifth to
one-half of their meals there.375 Teachers
and school administrators should use this
time to instill healthy habits in children to
counter the unhealthy messages children
receive outside of school. As researchers
from Yale University and New York
University have noted:
The default conditions for children promote
unhealthy eating and physical inactivity.
100
Factors such as large portions, high consumption
of soft drinks and high-calorie fast foods, low
costs for high-calorie foods and higher costs for
fruits and vegetables, limited access to healthy
foods for the poor, and massive marketing campaigns targeting children are linked to poor diet,
high risk for excess weight gain, and in some
cases diseases such as diabetes.376
It is therefore fundamental for schools to
incorporate strategies to improve the quality of nutrition and physical activity they pro-
vide for students. In order for schools to get
students to be “as fit as they can be,” they
must: offer healthy food options, increase
the amount of daily physical activity
required, and limit and/or improve the
nutritional value of “competitive” foods.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , schools should:
School Nutrition Recommendations
Adopt Higher Nutrition Standards Than
USDA
Revise Food Contract Policies and
Priorities to Focus on Maximum Nutrition
Some states have taken the lead in setting
requirements that are higher than
USDA’s minimum requirements for food
served in school. Instead of focusing on
delivering minimum nutrition standards,
schools and school districts should concentrate on setting high nutrition standards for the foods served to students
that allow them to eat for better health.
These standards should be extended to
cover “competitive” foods as well as those
sold during the regular meal program.
Contracts for school food suppliers and
providers should be reviewed to focus on
competing to provide maximum nutrition standards to students.
Ban Sugar Sweetened Drinks
Schools should enact the guidelines set
forth in the 2007 IOM report “Nutrition
Standards for Foods in Schools: Leading
the Way toward Healthier Youth” and only
offer so-called “Tier 1” beverages for sale
during school hours. Tier 1 beverages
include water without flavoring, additives
or carbonation; one percent and non-fat
milk; and 100 percent fruit juice. High
schools may choose to allow the sale of
“Tier 2” beverages which are defined as
non-caffeinated, non-fortified beverages
with less than 5 calories per portion.
Provide Free Drinking Water
Make sure students have access to free,
clean drinking water in the cafeteria and
gym to encourage water consumption in
the place of sugary drinks.
Evaluate Alternative Fundraising Options
that Do Not Involve Providing Food of
Minimum Nutrition Value to Students
Currently many schools, school districts,
and after-school activities rely on revenue
from vending machines and other food
sales. Jurisdictions should conduct cost-benefit analyses of these funds, factoring in the
impact and cost to children’s health.
Communities must be better informed that
while revenue from “competitive foods” may
seem like an effective fundraising mechanism, it also directly results in a reduction of
federal funds to the school lunch program.
Communities should prioritize finding
other revenue streams to support programs
or offer more healthful items for sale.
Provide Professional Development to
School Food-Services Staff
Require those who manage school nutrition programs to have appropriate academic preparation and certification; and,
ensure that those who manage school
nutrition programs receive regular professional development on key nutrition
program topics and strategies.
School Health Screening Recommendations
Evaluate and Refine BMI Initiatives
School BMI screening programs should be
evaluated for effectiveness for reducing
and controlling obesity. Schools in which
BMI data is collected should establish
clear and consistent evaluation standards
to ensure that its intended outcomes and
any potential unintended consequences
can be measured and monitored.
101
BMI measurement programs should be
coordinated with a safe and supportive
school environment for students of all
body sizes and a comprehensive set of science-based strategies to promote physical
activity and healthy eating.377
highly qualified staff member, such as
the school nurse).
• Establish safeguards to protect student
privacy.
• Obtain and use accurate equipment.
• Accurately calculate and interpret the data.
BMI measurement programs should adhere
to safeguards, as detailed by CDC’s Division
of Adolescent and School Health to reduce
the risk of potentially harming students.378
These safeguards include the following:
• Develop efficient data collection
procedures.
• Avoid using BMI results to evaluate
student or teacher performance.
• Introduce the program to school staff
and community members and obtain
parental consent.
• Ensure parents receive a clear and respectful explanation of the BMI screening
results and appropriate follow-up actions.
• Train staff in administering the program
(ideally, implementation will be led by a
• Resources are available for safe and
effective follow-up.
Physical Activity Recommendations for Schools
Ensure Physical Activity Is a Part of
Students’ Daily Lives
All K-12 students should receive daily
physical education. School officials
should eliminate barriers to physical education, such as the lack of quality teachers, insufficient time, and lack of professional development for P.E. teachers.
Schools should require and P.E. teachers
should be trained to not only increase the
amount of time students spend in physical
education classes but ensure that enough
time is actually being spent in moderate-tovigorous physical activity during P.E. class.
Schools should provide other physical
activity throughout the school day that
reinforces what is taught in physical education, and provide students the opportunity to apply skills and concepts
learned in P.E. Other physical activity
opportunities include after-school physical activity clubs, walk-to-school programs, classroom breaks, and recess.
Make It Easier for Students to Actively
Commute to School
Schools and communities should ensure
that their built environments enable students to walk or bike to school. By work102
ing with city or county planning and transportation officials, schools can establish
safe routes to schools by establishing or
maintaining well-marked crosswalks and
sidewalks and securing adequate numbers
of crossing guards around the school. The
need for physical activity should be incorporated into all planning for building new
schools or remodeling existing schools.
Establish Joint Use Agreements with
Community and Faith-Based Organizations
Schools should encourage activity throughout the day and ensure that facilities and
space for students provide options for physical activity before and after school as well
as between classes. Joint use agreements
that include liability protection for both
school districts and community and faithbased groups are one way to encourage
these groups to run before- and/or afterschool programs for children and adolescents in un-used school space.
Improve Nutrition and HealthPromotion Education
Greater efforts should be made to educate students about ways to maintain
good nutrition and exercise regimens
and how this impacts their health.
F. FAMILIES AND INDIVIDUALS
“
FAMILIES IN THE UNITED STATES CURRENTLY FACE MANY POTENTIAL OPPORTUNITIES
AND CHALLENGES THAT INFLUENCE THE EFFORTS OF HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS TO ENGAGE
IN HEALTHY BEHAVIORS.
THE CHALLENGES INCLUDE THE STRESSES AND PRESSURES OF
DAILY LIVING, ALONG WITH ECONOMIC AND TIME CONSTRAINTS THAT MAKE HEALTHFUL
”
EATING AND DAILY PHYSICAL ACTIVITY DIFFICULT FOR MANY FAMILIES TO ACHIEVE.379
— INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)
Personal responsibility is a major factor in obesity. Individuals choose between the hamburger and French fries or the turkey burger
and side salad. Parents choose to buy lowsugar cereals instead of the high-sugar options
advertised on the television. Families decide
to take a bike ride together instead of sitting at
home watching television. Although government is limited in what it can do to model inhome behaviors, IOM notes that “parents and
families can respond to policy changes and initiatives implemented in other settings.”380 For
example, if communities improve bike trails
or add lighting to walking paths, parents and
children can engage in more physical activity
in a safer environment. In addition, public
education campaigns by federal, state, and
local governments, which are sometimes
undertaken in partnership with private sector
partners, help provide people with information to help them with the choices they make.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , families and individuals should:
Factor Health Concerns into Their
Eating and Exercise Choices
Research has found that even small changes
in diet and physical activity can yield big
results toward reducing people’s risk for
health problems, ranging from diabetes to
heart disease. Everyone should regularly
engage in some form of physical activity.
Individuals should also adapt eating patterns
toward healthier selections and limit their
intake of foods with minimal nutritional
value. People should also learn about and
take advantage of resources designed to help
them stay healthy. If they are unsatisfied with
the support they receive, they should make
their opinions known to their local, state,
and federal government officials.
Be Concerned about Obesity and Inactivity
as Health Risks to Their Family Members
By encouraging family members to make
healthy choices, people may help decrease
the number of health problems their loved
ones face. Particularly, by helping children
stay active and maintain nutritious eating
habits, families may help them avoid potential life-long diseases. Families also have
leverage as consumers. They should directly communicate with the food, beverage,
and marketing industries and use their purchasing power to encourage product development and offerings that match the interest they may have for alternative choices.
Encourage Mothers to Breastfeed Their
Infants and Toddlers
Research has found that breast-fed infants
gain less weight and stay leaner than their
formula-fed counterparts, as well as showing lower rates of chronic diseases.
103
G. EMPLOYERS
“
WHAT WE DO KNOW NOW IS THAT OBESITY AND OVERWEIGHT ARE
CONTRIBUTING ABOUT 27 PERCENT TO THE INCREASE IN PREMIUMS THAT ARE PAID
BY PRIVATE EMPLOYERS.381
”
— CHRISTINE FERGUSON, FORMER MASSACHUSETTS HEALTH COMMISSIONER AND DIRECTOR
OF THE STOP OBESITY ALLIANCE.
The Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat O bes it y
should call for government and private sector employers to make certain that every
working American has access to a workplace
wellness program.
Sixty-six percent of the U.S. workforce population is overweight.382 The economic consequences of this are reflected in lost worker productivity and higher health insurance
premiums.
The negative health consequences of inactivity and poor nutrition are leading to a less
productive U.S. workforce and exponentially driving up health care costs. It is in the
economic interest of every employer and
the nation as a whole to put a greater
emphasis on keeping the workforce healthy
and providing preventive care.
Employers have the ability to influence their
employees through nutrition and fitness programs, contests, and incentives. A healthy
workforce equals a more productive workforce, where both employers and employees
can benefit from improved health.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , employers should:
Offer Wellness and Disease Prevention
Programs and Benefits
104
Offer employees programs and health
benefits that help them stay healthy,
including nutrition, physical activity, and
obesity counseling, subsidizing health
club memberships, and providing insurance discounts for preventive services.
Investing in the health of employees not
only improves productivity but also cuts
down on absenteeism. A national forum
should be established for employers to
share best practices in worksite wellness
and to foster connections between smaller employers to promote economies of
scale to offer wellness benefits.
Provide Opportunities for Employees to
Be Active during the Day
For example, businesses should maintain
clean, well-lit stairwells to encourage employees to take the stairs. Businesses should also
focus on providing healthy food options in
vending machines and in cafeterias.
Replace Smoke Breaks with Fitness Breaks
Employees should be encouraged to
engage in physical activity on their lunch
hours and breaks. Employers have long
allowed smokers to step outside for 10
minutes or so throughout the day for a
cigarette break.
Employees should
instead be offered “walking breaks,”
whereby they can leave their desks for 10
minutes or so to walk around the office.
Advocate for the Health Insurance
Industry to Develop Coding and
Payment Mechanisms for Obesity
Prevention Services
Generally physicians do not receive enough
support, resources, or reimbursement from
insurance companies to prescribe preventive care for patients with chronic diseases.
Employers should work with insurance
companies to ensure that plans cover nutrition counseling, weight loss and management programs, and similar complementary services to decrease obesity and prevent
the development of more chronic diseases.
Provide Opportunities for Female
Employees to Pump Breast Milk
A 2007 IOM report on childhood obesity
noted that “more widespread availability
of convenient and private rooms for
pumping breast milk at a worksite could
potentially facilitate mothers’ continued
breastfeeding of their infants for the recommended 4 to 6 months.”383
EMPLOYMENT AS A BARRIER TO BREASTFEEDING
The benefits of breastfeeding for infants and
mothers are well documented. According to
the American Academy of Pediatrics a breastfed infant is 21 percent less likely to die in the
first year than one who is not breast-fed, and
breast milk helps protect babies against a long
list of infectious and chronic diseases, including diabetes, obesity and asthma.384 For
mothers, the benefits include a lower risk of
breast and ovarian cancer as well as protection against weight gain.385 This strong evidence base led the U.S. government to
include breastfeeding goals in the “Healthy
People 2010” report. The report set out 2
main breastfeeding goals:
To increase the proportion of mothers
who breastfeed their babies in the immediate postpartum period from 64 percent
to 75 percent.
To increase the proportion of mothers
who breastfeed their babies at 6 months
from 29 percent to 50 percent.386
However, women returning to work after
the birth of a child who wish to continue
breastfeeding often face challenges. In fact,
a 2006 study found that working full-time
had a negative effect on breastfeeding duration.387 While 39 states and D.C. have laws
that specifically allow women to breastfeed
in any public or private location, only 19
states and D.C. have laws related to breastfeeding in the workplace.388
Mothers who wish to express or ‘pump’
breast milk often lack a clean, private space
where they can do so. According to a
Cochrane Review article on breastfeeding in
the workplace, “unless these mothers get
support from their employers and fellow
employees, they might give up breastfeeding
when they return to work. As a result, the
duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding to
the recommended age of the babies would
be affected.”389 The review went on to note
that by promoting and supporting programs
to support breastfeeding, not only could
employers influence the duration of breastfeeding and by doing so improve the health
of mother and baby, but the employer
would also benefit from less work absenteeism, higher productivity, and increased
employee morale and retention.390
105
H. INSURANCE COMPANIES
“
CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY PROVIDES DISINCENTIVES FOR INSURERS TO
INCORPORATE OBESITY PREVENTION PROGRAMS INTO THEIR POLICIES.391
”
— ERIC A. FINKELSTEIN, HEALTH ECONOMIST AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE FATTENING OF AMERICA: HOW
THE ECONOMY MAKES US FAT, IF IT MATTERS, AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.
The health care industry also has a role in
the Nat io nal St rat egy t o Co m bat O bes it y .
Insurance companies have to pay out
excessive amounts of money for obesityrelated chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes. Preventive services may
cause increased costs for the insurer up
front, but reduced rates of obesity will
lower costs over time.
Health economists, however, have noted
that the current U.S. healthcare system is
not set up to focus on obesity prevention.
According to Eric Finkelstein, co-author of
“The Fattening of America”, private insurers
reap few benefits from paying for prevention programs as the majority of the cost-savings are realized when their customers age
out of private insurance and are covered
under Medicare. He argues that since the
federal government would benefit from any
prevention and wellness programs instituted
by private insurers, the government should
offer financial incentives that make it profitable for these private companies to provide preventive benefits
106
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , insurance companies should:
Promote Prevention Efforts in the
Marketplace
Offering more prevention-focused benefit
options to employers could improve longterm health and make an economic difference. This should extend to providing prevention support and offering healthy food
and activity capabilities to their own
employees as well.
Work with Companies of All Sizes
Insurers should work with small- and medium-sized employers to provide programs
that are affordable.
Insurance Companies Should Not
Discriminate Based on a Person’s Weight
Obesity or overweight should not be used
as a risk factor for determining eligibility
for insurance or coverage of treatment.
Insurers should reimburse for all evidence-based services and treatments. (See
Section 3: State Responsibilities and Policies for
a discussion on state insurance coverage laws.)
I. FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRIES
“
THE OVERWHELMING PRESENCE OF FOOD AND BEVERAGE ADVERTISING IN
AMERICAN LIFE IS A POWERFUL PART OF THE CONTEXT THAT CANNOT BE IGNORED IN
A DISCUSSION OF EATING AND OBESITY TRENDS IN THE UNITED STATES.392
— CONSUMERS UNION, PUBLISHER OF CONSUMER REPORTS
The Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat O bes it y
must include the food industry. According
to the Center for Science in the Public
Interest, there are 3,800 calories available in
the food supply for each person each day.
The average American, however, needs only
2,350 calories per day.393
Not only do we have an overabundance of
food, particularly of foods that are low in nutritional value, but marketing campaigns encourage consumers of all ages with messages to buy
and eat more. According to Advertising Age, the
”
food, beverage, and candy industry ranked
sixth in advertising buys in 2004 with a combined total of $6.84 billion spent on U.S. advertising, while the restaurant industry spent a
total of $4.42 billion and ranked 13th in overall advertising spending.394
A separate IOM report on food marketing
to children reports that $10 billion a year is
spent to advertise foods, beverages and
meals to children and youth, $5 billion of
which was for TV advertising.395
Total U.S. Advertising Dollars (2004) Food, Beverage, and Candy
Companies & Restaurants396
Company
McDonald’s
PepsiCo
Nestle
General Mills
Yum Brands
Mars, Inc.
Kellogg Co.
Burger King Corp.
Coca Cola Co.
Sara Lee Corp
Wendy’s International
Campbell Soup Co.
Cadbury Schweppes
ConAgra Foods
Total U.S. Advertising (in millions)
$ 1,388.9
$ 1,262.2
$ 1,028.3
$ 912.5
$ 779.4
$ 739.8
$ 647.1
$ 542.1
$ 540.5
$ 528.9
$ 435.8
$ 425.3
$ 374.8
$ 363.8
Rank
18
22
31
35
46
50
56
67
68
71
83
84
91
95
Note: Figures are for 2004 advertising dollars. This includes ‘unmeasured media’ i.e. marketing strategies used by food companies such as direct mail, sales promotion, couponing, catalogs, and special events.
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , the food, beverage, and marketing
industries should:
Develop and Promote Products that
Encourage Healthful Eating
The food industry should undertake a
review of the ingredients it uses and, when
possible, reformulate food products. For
example, using only whole grains and lowering sodium levels across the board.
107
Inform Customers about Healthy Options
Providing customers with healthy options
and additional product information and
nutritional values can be good for both
health and the bottom line. The food and
beverage industry should provide consistent nutrition labeling to consumers, based
on product size. Industry should seek the
input of parents and other community
members to establish standards and practices for marketing products to children.
Improve Access to Healthy Foods in All
Communities
The Grocery Manufacturers Association
(GMA) should encourage members to open
new supermarkets in underserved communities where they can provide these communities with more access to fresh fruits and vegetables and other healthy food options.
Working with local communities, GMA members should develop feasibility studies to assess
the economic viability of opening new outlets.
SUPERMARKETS EXPERIMENT WITH NUTRITION LABELING
The Maine-based supermarket chain,
Hannaford Bros., developed one of the first
nutritional rating systems for grocery store
shoppers in 2006. The system, Guiding Stars,
rates meat, dairy, fresh produce, and packaged
goods on their nutritional content and awards
either a 1-, 2-, or 3-star rating to the product.397 One-star is “good nutritional value”; 2stars are “better nutritional value”; and 3-stars
are “best nutritional value.” Out of a total of
more than 25,500 rated food items throughout the stores, more than one-quarter (28
percent) receive one, 2 or 3 stars.398
According to store officials, the Guiding Star
system has had a major impact on shoppers’
buying habits as consumers flock to products
with stars. For instance, sales of cereals,
breads, canned and jarred foods, dried pasta,
snack foods, and beverages with one, 2 or 3
stars grew steadily at 2-and-a-half-times the
rate of those without stars.399 Given that over
70 percent of the products sold in Hannaford
stores that were evaluated failed to receive a
single star, some experts wonder if ratings systems such as Guiding Stars could spur food
manufacturers to make healthier items.
The ratings system, developed by a team of
nutritionists and public-health experts, uses a
formula that credits a food’s score for the
presence of vitamins and minerals, fiber and
whole grains. It debits the score for trans
fats, saturated fats, cholesterol, added sugars,
and added sodium. The criteria support the
recommendations of the 2005 DGAs and are
meant to be used in tandem with the
Nutrition Facts label and the ingredient list.
Currently, Guiding Stars is used in 164 supermarkets across New England and New York.
Hannaford Bros.’ parent company, a Belgiumbased firm, is introducing the Guiding Stars
system at its Florida chain, Sweetbay, and
plans to expand to Food Lion, a supermarket
chain present in the southeast and midAtlantic regions of the United States.
WARNING LABELS ON VENDING MACHINES -- THE UNIVERSITY
OF VIRGINIA EXPERIENCE
In May 2004, the University of Virginia
Health System placed so-called warning
labels on the 120 vending machines located
on its premises. The warning labels used
the stop-light model to distinguish among
the nutritional values of snack foods. A red
label indicated the item contained 201 calories or more (or 10.1 percent of more saturated fats); a yellow label indicated the item
contained between 141 and 200 calories (or
5.1 percent to 10 percent saturated fat); a
green label was placed on items 140 calories
or less (and less than 5 percent saturated
fat.)400 In addition, the university added a 5cent tax to the cost of red items. Proceeds
108
from this levy were donated to the university’s Children’s Fitness Program. Large signs
describing the stop-light system and tax
were placed next to each vending machine.
After one year, red-labeled snack sales
decreased 5.3 percent, yellow-labeled snack
sales increased 30.7 percent, and greenlabeled snack sales increased 16.5 percent.401
The 5-cent tax raised $6,700. The university
is now comparing sales of color-coded items
in one of its hospital cafeterias with the sale
of non-color-coded items in a second hospital cafeteria to see if the plan merits expansion to vending machines and cafeteria programs in schools throughout the state.
J. AGRIBUSINESS AND FARMERS
“
WE STRIVE TO FULFILL CONSUMER NEEDS FOR GREAT-TASTING, HIGH-QUALITY
FRESH VEGETABLES, AND AFFORDABLE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES, BUT WE NEED
AGRICULTURAL POLICY PRIORITIES TO ASSIST US IN THAT EFFORT.402
”
— MAUREEN TORREY MARSHALL, CO-CHAIR OF THE UNITED FRESH FRUIT & VEGETABLE ASSOCIATION
According to USDA, Americans do not eat
enough fruit and vegetables. A 2008 study
found that based on USDA daily recommended levels, Americans need to boost
fruit consumption by 132 percent and overall vegetable consumption by 31 percent.
Certain subgroups of vegetables such as
legumes would need to be increased by 431
percent; orange vegetables by 183 percent;
and dark green vegetables by 175 percent.
Meanwhile, starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, need to be decreased by 35 percent.403
The study notes, however, that the U.S. food
production system is “currently incapable of
providing sufficient levels of fruit and vegetables for all to consume a healthy diet.”404 In
fact, 60 percent of all fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the U.S. are imported.405
One reason so much of the fruit and vegetables Americans consume is imported is that
the majority of U.S. farm acreage is devoted to
growing cash crops such as soy, wheat, corn,
and rice. Critics of domestic U.S. farm policy
charge that farm subsidies have led to the
overproduction of corn and soybeans. These
cheap, surplus crops are used to make high
fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated vegetable oils, which enter the American diet as
excess sugar and fat. According to the
Institute for Agriculture Trade and Policy, a
Minnesota-based public policy organization
working to ensure fair and sustainable food,
farm, and trade systems, “our misguided farm
policy is making poor eating habits an economically sensible choice in the short term.”406
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , agribusinesses and farmers should:
Farmers’ Markets Should Be Equipped
to Redeem Food Stamps and WIC
Coupons.
Farmers should work with local and state
governments to equip farmers’ markets
with the necessary technology to process
electronic food stamp debit cards and
WIC program cards.
Work with Schools and Community
Groups to Develop Urban Gardens
Farmers and agribusiness should collaborate with schools and community groups
to develop urban gardens. Agribusiness
can provide materials while farmers can
provide technical support to urban gardeners. Urban gardens provide access to
fresh fruits and vegetables to communities who might otherwise not be able to
purchase these healthy foods in their
neighborhoods.
109
K. ROLE FOR INCREASED RESEARCH AND EVALUATION
“
IF WE WANT MORE EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE, WE NEED MORE
PRACTICE-BASED EVIDENCE.407
”
— LAWRENCE W. GREEN, FORMER DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF SCIENCE & EXTRAMURAL RESEARCH, PUBLIC
HEALTH PRACTICE PROGRAM OFFICE, CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)
There is a growing body of research on
nutrition, physical activity, obesity, and obesity-related health outcomes and associated
interventions. Public health officials, however, argue that more effort, money, and
evaluation of obesity-prevention programs
are needed in order to develop a set of evidence-based, proven interventions. There
is also a need for research “on how to frame
the obesity issue in order to gain support for
public health interventions,” according to
scientists at Yale University’s Rudd Center
for Food Policy and Obesity. 408
As part of the Nat ional St rat egy t o Combat
O bes it y , researchers should:
Translate Research into Practice
Too often researchers publish the results of
their trials or interventions and walk away,
thinking their job is done. For public
health practitioners, however, simply having the results of a new study is not enough.
Many of these studies demonstrate the “efficacy” of an intervention or medical treatment while failing to consider how “effective” they will be under real world circumstances. Researchers must do a better job of
translating their work into practice, which
means considering the full range of environmental and socioeconomic factors that
influence people. Researchers must also
address cost effectiveness and give public
health officials a sense of per capita costs as
they attempt to use these small controlled
interventions on a community-wide level.
Challenge to the Research Community: 4
Key Questions
110
TFAH has identified 4 key research questions that have not yet been adequately
answered and could help provide break-
throughs in developing even more effective
obesity prevention and control strategies.
1) Small Changes Make a Big Difference.
There is increasing evidence that substantial weight loss is not needed to change
health outcomes for obese individuals; in
fact, as little as a 5 to 10 percent weight loss
can reduce the risk factors for some diseases, including diabetes and some cardiovascular diseases. What are the small
changes that work? How does a small
change in weight or a small increase in physical activity affect an individual’s health?
2) Redefine Success.
Too many Americans, including health
practitioners, have an unrealistic expectation about how much weight loss is
enough to achieve meaningful change.
The research community should redefine
successful weight loss as it pertains to “controlling or reducing health risks and
costs,” instead of meeting some unrealistic
standard set by society.409 Researchers and
clinicians should communicate the importance of making small changes in order to
reduce health risks to the American public
in order to counter the unrealistic views
most obese individuals and their healthcare providers hold about weight loss.
3) The Cost of Obesity Prevention.
What are the costs of various obesity interventions, particularly those that target
communities and the environment?
What are the per person costs associated
with obesity interventions? What does it
cost to bring an intervention to scale?
Given the substantial investments in obesity prevention and control, researchers
should work on developing standardized
ways of reporting intervention costs in a
manner that is useful for program planners and policy makers.
food accessibility and affordability, and
racial/ethnic, genetic, and cultural differences. Improved understanding in these
areas will lead to better intervention
efforts within targeted populations.
4) The Relationships between Income
and Culture and Obesity.
Researchers should further examine the
economics of eating healthy, including
L. SPECIAL ISSUES
RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES IN OBESITY
Data from several national surveys of U.S. adult, adolescent and child health, reveal large disparities in obesity rates among racial and ethnic minorities.410,411,412
Obesity Rates Among U.S. Adults, High School Students and
Children by Racial / Ethnic Group
Adults413
High School Students414
Children415
White
29.7%
10.8%
12.0%
Black
44.9%
18.3%
23.5%
Hispanic
36.9%*
16.6%
18.9%
Source: Adult data is from 2003-2004 NHANES; high school data is from 2007 YRBSS; child data is from 2003-2004
NSCH. *Note: Under the Hispanic racial/ethnic group, the adult data is for Mexican-Americans while adolescent and child
health data is for all Hispanics.
High obesity rates, poor nutrition, and lack
of physical activity are linked to many diseases, including diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and heart disease. These diseases are
also found in higher rates among various
members of racial-ethnic minorities compared with whites.416 For instance, 22.6 percent of American Indians/Alaska Natives age
20 years and older suffer from diabetes as
do 13.3 percent of African Americans, and
9.5 percent of Hispanics, compared to 8.7
percent of whites.417
The disparities in obesity rates are particularly
worrisome for children given the numerous
long-lasting poor health outcomes associated
with childhood obesity. If the current trends
continue, CDC estimates that one third of all
children - and one-half of black and Hispanic
children born in 2000 - will develop diabetes.418
In addition to experiencing higher rates of
obesity and overweight than white Americans,
African Americans and Hispanics are less likely
to engage in healthy levels of physical activity.
Physical Inactivity Rates Among U.S. Adults by Sex and Race/Ethnicity419
White
Black
Hispanic
Male
47.7%
54.7%
58.1%
Female
50.4%
63.9%
59.5%
Source: 2005 BRFSS data. Note: Physical inactivity is defined as adults who did not engage in at least 30 minutes a day of moderateintensity activity on 5 or more days a week, or at least 20 minutes a day of vigorous-intensity activity on 3 or more days a week.
111
Percentage of U.S. High School Students and Children Not Participating
in Recommended Levels of Physical Activity by Racial / Ethnic Group
High School Students
Children
White
22.4%
26.5%
Black
32.0%
30.9%
Hispanic
27.1%
37.1%
Source: High school student data is from 2007 YRBSS; Child data is from 2003-2004 NSCH. For high school students, it is
the percent that did not participate in 60 or more minutes of physical activity on any day.420 For children, it is the percent
that did not participate in physical activity that lasts at least 20 minutes and causes sweating and hard breathing on 3 or
more days per week.421
Researchers cite a number of factors behind
the disparities in obesity rates and physical
inactivity levels. These include the following:
Cultural perceptions of food, eating, physical activity and weight in racial and ethnic
communities.422
Physical environments that do not support physical activity, for instance the lack
of parks and recreation centers.423
Fast-food restaurants and convenience
stores are much more accessible in lowincome neighborhoods than chain supermarkets that offer a healthier array of foods
including fresh fruits and vegetables.424
Crime rates and perceptions of danger
are higher in low-income neighborhoods.425 Whether real or perceived, having unsafe neighborhoods means a
decrease in children walking to school and
playing outside and an increase of time
spent in front of the television.426
Low-income minority families may have little
money left over to buy food, specifically healthy
food, which is generally more expensive.427
Longer working hours and commuting
times among low-income parents may
interfere with time spent buying and
preparing food, and transporting children
to after-school recreation activities.428
Use of food as a means to deal with stress
related to poverty, racial discrimination,
violence and abuse.429
Lack of health insurance limits minorities’
access to health care providers.
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family
Foundation, racial and ethnic minorities are
more likely to be poor than are whites. Over
half of Hispanics, African Americans, and
American Indians/Alaska Natives are poor or
near poor, compared with 26 percent of
whites and 33 percent of Asians and Pacific
112
Islanders.430 African Americans, Hispanics and
American Indians/Alaska Natives are also
more likely to be uninsured than are whites.
Thirty-four percent of Hispanics, 32 percent
of American Indians/Alaska Natives, and 21
percent of African Americans are uninsured
compared to 13 percent of whites.431
Lack of health insurance translates into less
access to health care providers and less chance
of receiving a diagnosis of obesity. According
to a 2006 study, whites are 3 times more likely
to receive a diagnosis of obesity than blacks.432
Given that research suggests that individuals
who receive a diagnosis of overweight or obesity from their health care providers are more
likely to lose weight than those who do not
receive a diagnosis, health care providers in
minority-communities should be trained and
encouraged to speak with their patients about
the health risks associated with obesity, poor
nutrition and sedentary lifestyle.433 Expanding
minorities’ access to health care and insurance
should also be top priorities.
In addition to addressing access to health care,
behavior change campaigns to modify eating
habits and promote increased physical activity
are needed to address some of the cultural
issues behind the disparities in obesity.
According to the National Institute of
Environmental Health Sciences, government
should also focus on changes to the built environment.434 (See Section 5: National Strategy to
Combat Obesity for recommendations on the
built environment.)
Finally, more research, both into the factors
behind and the interventions needed to
address disparities in obesity, nutrition, and
physical activity are needed. A major challenge for academic researchers is likely to be
minority communities’ distrust of medical
research.435 However, by engaging community members in the research process scientists can ensure that the evidence-base
behind obesity disparities is expanded.
CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN RURAL AMERICA
Many Americans may associate living in a
rural setting with a healthy lifestyle because it
may offer opportunities for physical activity,
consuming locally grown produce, access to
open land and clean air that invite outdoor
activities.436 But recent studies have found
that rural children are just as likely to be
obese as urban children.437,438,439 An analysis
from the South Carolina Rural Health
Research Center, using the 2003 National
Survey on Children’s Health data, found that:
31.5 percent of rural children aged 10 to 17
years old were overweight or obese, compared to 30.4 percent of urban children.
16.5 percent of rural children were obese,
compared to 14.4 percent of urban children.
Rural African-American children had the
highest levels of overweight (44.1 percent)
and obesity (26.3 percent) compared to all
other racial and ethnic groups.
Children living in the South were most
likely to be overweight or obese (33.1
percent), followed by the Midwest (30.2
percent), the Northeast (29.5 percent),
and the West (28.1 percent).
As family income increased, the proportion
of children who are overweight decreased
significantly among rural and urban residents.
25.4 percent of rural children failed to
meet physical activity recommendations.
40.7 percent of rural children did not participate in any after school sports teams
or activities.
Nearly half of rural children (48 percent)
spent at least 2 hours a day with electronic entertainment media (TV viewing,
video games, computer use).
Poverty rates are also quite high for rural
children, 21 percent of whom live in poverty
compared to 18 percent of urban children.440
According to Save the Children, the leading
independent organization promoting children’s health and well-being, “children who
live in poverty have a greater challenge
engaging healthy lifestyle behaviors to support normal growth and development.”441
One challenge is lack of access to healthy
foods, beverages, and meals. A 2007 study
found more than 800 counties where rural
residents live 10 miles from a large food
retailer.442 Another challenge is lack of access
to opportunities and facilities for regular
physical activity.443 Poverty and food insecurity are only 2 factors behind the high rates of
childhood obesity in rural areas. In addition,
children living in rural areas struggle with a
lack of resources and infrastructure to support physical activity and healthy eating.444
In order to address the problem of rural
childhood obesity, in 2005 Save the Children
launched the CHANGE (Creating Healthy,
Active, and Nurturing Growing-up
Environments) Program to increase rural children’s access to daily physical activity and a
healthy snack. The CHANGE Program operates in 5 rural regions of the U.S. where
poverty rates are highest: Appalachia, the
Southeast, the Mississippi River Delta,
California’s Central and San Bernardino
Valley, and Native American reservations in
the Southwest. During the 2007-2008 school
year, the CHANGE program served nearly
7,000 children at 95 sites in 12 states. A
large-scale community-based intervention is
underway called the CHANGE Study, which
is adapting and testing Tufts University’s
Shape Up Somerville model. The research
will identify a package of interventions to
reduce rural children’s obesity risk and create
environments that support healthy lifestyle
behaviors. Results are expected in 2010.
113
BABY BOOMERS AND OBESITY
In 1946, 3.4 million babies were born -- a jump of 22 percent
from the previous year, a trend that continued until 1964, creating a population bulge we call “baby boomers.”445 With the
first round of baby boomers turning 60, there are questions
about the overall health of the generation: Are they living
longer and healthier lives? Is the health care system prepared
to handle the boomer demographic bulge? Currently, scientists know the following about the baby boomers:
Access to better food and health care has improved, but consumption of high fat foods and rates of obesity has increased,
while rates of physical activity remain unchanged.446
The number of obese Americans 55-64 has increased from
31 percent (1988-1994) to 39 percent (1999-2002).447
A study published in 2005 found that members of the baby
boom generation have a higher prevalence of obesity, and
became obese at younger ages, than their predecessors in
the silent generation.448
A report from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services predicts that unless major health changes occur,
U.S. health care spending will reach $4.3 trillion (almost 20
percent of the gross domestic product) by 2017 as the first
of the baby boomers begin to enroll in Medicare.449
Sixty-two percent of 50-64 year-olds claim to have at least
one of the following obesity-related chronic conditions:
diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, cancer, arthritis, and
high cholesterol.
The highest prevalence of obesity occurs among women in
their 50’s -- fitting squarely into the baby boomer population.450
Individuals obese in middle-age are projected to be twice as
expensive to cover under Medicare as healthy weight people.451
Data from a 2007 U.S. Health and Retirement Study shows
people in their early to mid-50s reporting more health problems and a lower quality of life than previously described.452
While many studies point to startling statistics relating to
increasing rates of obesity among the baby boomer population, other analysts are finding contradictory health trends
among the boomer generation. For example, descriptions
about health in the National Health Interview Survey show a
higher percentage of those 50-64 reporting health as “very
good” or “excellent” in 2004 than in 1994.453 Although there
is conflicting data, there is no argument that very soon
Medicare will be inundated with a population bulge of
boomers, many of whom are overweight or obese.
MENTAL HEALTH, STRESS AND OBESITY
There is growing evidence documenting the association between
obesity and poor mental health. Researchers in the Adult and
Community Health division of CDC analyzed 2006 BRFSS data
and found that depression and anxiety are associated with
obesity.454 Adults currently or previously diagnosed with depression were 60 percent more likely to be obese, and those with
anxiety disorders were 30 percent more likely to be obese than
their non-depressed counterparts.455 Adults with depression or
anxiety were also less likely to engage in regular physical activity.456
A separate study analyzing data from more than 41,000
Americans who participated in the National Epidemiologic
Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions found that adults with
high BMI (BMI ≥ 30) were more likely to suffer from mood, anxiety, and personality disorders than people of normal weight
(18.5 ≤ BMI < 25) .457 Even individuals in the moderately overweight category (25 ≤ BMI < 30) were at an elevated risk of
anxiety disorders compared to those of normal weight.458
The significant associations between obesity and poor mental
health has led CDC researchers to “suggest that public health interventions should address mental and physical health as a combined
entity and that programs to simultaneously improve people's mental and physical health should be developed and implemented.”459
Stress and Obesity
A 2007 study found a direct connection between stress and obesity. Scientists, performing studies on mice, found a chain of molecular events that link chronic stress with obesity. The study found
that when stressed and non-stressed mice were fed the same,
high-calorie diet, the stressed mice gained twice as much fat.460
According to the study, the long-term combination of stress and a
high fat/high sugar diet will lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome symptoms such as hypertension and glucose intolerance.461
In addition to the traditional methods of weight loss, researchers
suggested also including stress reduction therapy and a neuropeptide Y receptor inhibitor to induce fat “melting.”462
BINGE EATING DISORDER AND OBESITY
Binge eating disorder is a classified psychiatric disorder which
affects more than 7 million adults in the U.S.463 Binge eating
is a compulsive pattern of regular bingeing of unusually large
amounts of food and complete loss of control over one's eating patterns.464 While only 1 to 3 percent of the general population is affected by binge eating disorder, a much higher
114
prevalence, 25 percent or more, has been reported by
patients who are obese or seeking help for weight loss.465
Because long-term weight management is more likely in an
individual who is able to control eating patterns, physicians
treating obese patients need to address the behavioral and
psychological components of binge eating disorders.466
WHAT ARE OTHER COUNTRIES DOING?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), globally
there are some 1.6 billion adults (age 15 and older) who are
overweight and 400 million adults who suffer from obesity; at
least 20 million children under the age of 5 years were overweight globally in 2005.467 WHO projects by 2015 that
approximately 2.3 billion adults will be overweight and more
than 700 million will be obese.468
The problem is not confined to the industrialized countries; in
fact, overweight and obesity are on the rise in less developed
countries, particularly in urban settings.
In response to the global obesity problem, in May 2004 WHO
adopted the Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and
Health.469 The Global Strategy has 4 main objectives:
1. Reduce risk factors for chronic diseases that stem from
unhealthy diets and physical inactivity through public health
actions.
2. Increase awareness and understanding of the influences of
diet and physical activity on health and the positive impact
of preventive interventions.
3. Develop, strengthen and implement global, regional, national
policies and action plans to improve diets and increase
physical activity that are sustainable, comprehensive and
actively engage all sectors.
4. Monitor science and promote research on diet and
physical activity.
Although the United States has failed to develop a national
plan, WHO reports that there are 36 countries that have
adopted national plans regarding diet and physical activity.470 A
searchable database of countries with national plans is available
online at http://www.who.int/infobase/dpas/dpas.aspx.
United Kingdom
The British released a cross-sectoral, multi-agency obesity prevention plan in January 2008, “Healthy Weight, Healthy Lives: A
Cross-Government Strategy for England”, and set out an ambitious goal to be the first major nation to reverse the trend of
increasing obesity and overweight among the population.471 The
plan’s initial focus is on children and by 2020 the goal is to reduce
the proportion of overweight and obese children to 2000 levels.
One of the critical components of the U.K.’s anti-obesity strategy is the national commitment to changing the physical and
social environments in communities. The government is
redesigning several communities into so-called “healthy towns”
that feature bike lanes and facilities to encourage people to
commute by bike and foot instead of car. A pilot project in the
town of Peterborough led to a 13 percent reduction in car use
and a 21 percent increase in walking.472
The strategy also includes public service announcements to educate parents about healthy eating habits and activity levels for
children. Already, Britain has implemented tough new food-standards for school lunches and other school foods, in addition to
requiring schoolchildren to engage in at least 2 hours of physical
education and activity a week.473 The government has also
cracked down on food manufacturers and marketers, imple-
menting new rules that limit exposure to fatty, sugary, food ads
on children’s television.474
According to Will Cavendish, Director of Health and Well-Being,
United Kingdom Department of Health, there were 2 major factors that led the British government to draft and adopt the comprehensive obesity-prevention plan. First, in October 2007 the
British government forecasting office published a report that
looked at obesity trends in the United Kingdom and the associated economic costs. The report estimated that by 2050 at least
50 percent of adults and 25 percent of children under age 16
would be obese, which would cost society and business an estimated 49.9 billion pounds a year (or some $100 billion) if the
epidemic were not brought under control through dramatic
changes across British society.475 The report’s authors compared
the problem to global climate change and noted that it would
require a government-wide, multi-sectoral approach to solving
the problem. “This really changed the environment in the U.K.
from one where obesity was a passing interest to one in which
obesity is a serious concern,” Cavendish said at an April 2008
obesity conference in Washington, D.C.476
The second was a national listening tour the newly elected
prime minister, Gordon Brown, carried out soon after assuming
office in 2007. The tour was to focus on health issues and what
stood out, according to Cavendish, was that parents’ number
one concern was childhood obesity. These 2 factors -- a strong,
evidence-based call to action and the political leadership and
buy-in -- were enough to get all levels of government working
together, according to Cavendish. The national government
also put resources behind the national plan: 372 million pounds,
or $726 million over the next 3 years.477
France
The French government released a national childhood obesity
plan in January 2004 that focuses both on primary prevention -with recommendations for families, teachers, and communities,
and secondary prevention -- with recommendations for health
professionals.
The French plan also focuses on the importance of social and
physical changes to the environment. According to Michel
Chauliac, Coordinator, National Nutrition and Health Program,
French Ministry of Health, the overall goal is to improve health,
with nutrition and physical activity seen as critical components of
health. He says the French government wants consumers to make
informed choices but realizes that choice is limited by the environment. “So the goal is to improve the nutritional environment.”478
To improve the nutritional environment, France has:
Banned vending machines in all schools;
Mandated nutritional qualities of school meals;
Incorporated health messages on all manufactured foods
and beverages; and
Considered a possible ban on TV advertisements for children.
The plan is already showing promising results according to
French researchers who reported the findings from 2 different
studies that showed a leveling off of childhood obesity rates.479
115
A
APPENDIX
Methodology for Obesity
and Other Rates Using
BRFSS
Data for this analysis was obtained from the
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System
(BRFSS) dataset (publicly available on the
web at www.cdc.gov/brfss). The analysis was
conducted by Daniel Eisenberg, PhD, and
Edward N. Okeke, MBBS, of the Department
of Health Management and Policy of the
University of Michigan School of Public
Health.
BRFSS is an annual cross-sectional survey
designed to measure behavioral risk factors
in the adult population (18 years of age or
older) living in households. Data are collected from a random sample of adults (one per
household) through a system of telephone
surveys. The BRFSS currently includes data
from 50 states, the District of Columbia,
Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands.
The most recent data available was 2007.
To account for the complex nature of the
survey design and obtain estimates accurately representative at the state level,
researchers used sample weights provided
by the CDC in the dataset. The main purpose of weighting is to reduce bias in population estimates by up-weighting population
sub-groups that are under represented and
down-weighting those that are over represented in the sample. Also, estimation of
variance (which indicates precision and is
used in calculating confidence intervals),
needs to take into account the fact that the
elements in the sample will generally not be
statistically independent as a result of the
multistage sampling design.
We specified the sampling plan to STATA480
using the svyset command and the following
set of weights: sample weight variable
(FINALWT), first-stage stratification variable
(STSTR), and primary sampling unit vari-
116
able (PSU). Omission of the stratification
variable in STATA implies no stratification of
PSUs prior to first-stage sampling. Omission
of the primary sampling unit variable
implies one-stage sampling of elements and
no clustering of sampled elements.
Omission of the sample weight implies
equally weighted sample elements. Mean
proportions for each variable were estimated
using the svy: proportion command.
Variables of interest included BMI, physical
inactivity, asthma, smoking, high blood pressure and diabetes. BMI was calculated by
dividing self-reported weight in kilograms by
the square of self-reported height in metres.
Obesity was then defined as calculated BMI
greater than or equal to 30 and overweight
was defined as calculated BMI greater than
or equal to 25 but less than 30. For the physical inactivity variable a binary indicator
equal to one was created for adults who
reported not engaging in physical activity or
exercise during the previous thirty days
other than their regular job. For diabetes,
researchers created a binary variable equal
to one if the respondent reported ever being
told by a doctor that he/she had diabetes
and for smoking we created a variable equal
to 1 if the respondent self-identified as a current smoker. For asthma, all respondents
who reported ever being told that they had
asthma were coded as 1 and 0 otherwise.
The hypertension variable481 had to be treated differently because of changes in how the
question was asked. Prior to 2003 the question asked was “Have you ever been told by
a doctor, nurse or other health professional
that you have high blood pressure?”
Respondents could answer “yes”, “no”, or
“don’t know/not sure”, or could refuse to
answer. In 2003 the question was modified
so that respondents who said “yes” were
asked a follow-up question: “Was this only
when you were pregnant?” Respondents
answering “yes” to the follow-up question
were coded separately. Starting in 2005, yet
another category was created: for borderline or pre-hypertensive respondents, bringing the total number of categories to 6
(from 4 in 2001). See Figure 1 below for a
summary of the changes.
Figure 1: Summary of Changes in Hypertension Variable
2001
Yes
No
-
Don’t know/Not sure
Refused
2003
Yes
No
Yes (but female told only
during pregnancy)
Don’t know/Not sure
Refused
2005
Yes
No
Yes (but female told only
during pregnancy)
Borderline/Pre-hypertensive
Don’t know/Not sure
Refused
In order to be able to compare across different years, researchers made several
assumptions:
across years in which the question format
stayed the same. TFAH used the more conservative estimates in the report.
1. Researchers assumed that respondents
falling in the “yes (but female told only during pregnancy)” category would have been
classified as a “yes” in 2001. This is plausible
given that the only difference between
2001 and later years is that if the respondent answered “yes” to the main question,
the follow-up question was not asked.
For all variables researchers calculated
rolling 3 year averages, first by averaging
data from 2004-2006 and then by averaging
data from 2005-2007 (after merging data
from the relevant time period).483
Researchers reported mean proportions for
each 3-year period as well as standard errors
and 95% confidence intervals for all variables of interest. In addition they carried
out a Pearson statistical test of proportions
and reported which states experienced a significant increase or decrease (significant at
the .05 level) between time periods.
2. For respondents classified as “borderline/pre-hypertensive”, researchers made 2
assumptions: first they assumed that in previous years respondents would have been
coded as a “yes” and then they assumed
that respondents would have been coded
as a “no”. Researchers ran calculations
under both assumptions and the qualitative
conclusions were similar.482 For comparison
we also present results calculated only
The various sample sizes are included in the
spreadsheet. Note: Guam is excluded from
the analysis and this is reflected in the sample size. We also excluded all observations
with missing values from the analysis.484
117
B
APPENDIX
Methodology for State
Obesity Plan Review
TFAH researchers searched the public health
department and governor’s website of each
state and D.C. for physical activity, nutrition,
and obesity plans. The search took place in
April 2008. Several states, including Idaho,
Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee, and D.C., had an
overall health promotion plan which included a section on obesity, but these were not
counted as strategic plans to combat obesity.
Virginia and D.C. had state plans aimed at
the prevention of obesity only among children, which TFAH counted as strategic plans
to combat obesity.
If a plan was not available online, TFAH
researchers emailed the most appropriate
person or department in that state to inquire
whether or not the state had a strategic plan
to prevent and treat obesity. States that did
not respond to inquiries via email were contacted via the National Association of
Chronic Disease Directors. In this way, TFAH
was able to confirm the status of each state’s
obesity plan.
118
Researchers read and evaluated each state
plan based on the following criteria:
Does the state obesity plan involve multiple
state agencies?
Does the plan specifically assign roles &
responsibilities to state agencies?
Does the plan contain clear and measurable objectives?
Are the plan’s objectives related to reducing
rates of obesity?
Does the plan link funding to objectives?
Does the plan include private sector (business, industry) and community groups?
Does the plan include provisions regarding
a healthier state workforce?
Does the plan have a system for evaluation
and review?
Overview of Federal
Programs That Impact
Obesity
C
APPENDIX
The following chart contains an overview of the cabinet-level agencies and the federal
programs within which impact obesity:
U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA)
AGENCY
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
USDA is responsible for a range of food and nutrition programs that impact obesity, including:
Nutritional advice and guidance.
Nutrition assistance programs.
Food and obesity education campaigns.
Distribution of food products to schools.
Oversight and protection of the nation’s agricultural and dairy markets.
PROGRAM/ INITIATIVES
USDA’s Division of Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services (FNCS) is central to obesity
policies. FNCS is one of 7 agencies in USDA, and it includes 2 departments relating to obesity:
Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) and the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
(CNPP). FNS administers nutrition assistance programs to needy and eligible populations through
a variety of food assistance programs and comprehensive nutrition education efforts.485
The Food Stamp Program served approximately 26.5 million people in FY 2007 at a cost of
$34.8 billion.
The National School Lunch Program is a federally assisted meal program that serves free or
low-cost lunches to low-income children throughout the nation. It serves lunch to over 30.1 million
children each day in over 101,000 public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care
institutions.486 There are nutritional requirements -- such as offering milk with different fat
contents -- that are aligned with the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, and these will be updated to reflect
recent changes to the Guidelines. Schools are reimbursed between $2.07 and $2.47 for reduced
price and free lunches, respectively.487 In FY 2006, the federal government spent $8.2 billion on
the lunch program.488 A similar program serves subsidized school breakfasts.
The Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program (FFVP) provides fresh and dried fruits and fresh
vegetables throughout the school day. Participating schools are required to publicize the availability
of the fresh fruit, dried fruits and fresh vegetables to the student body. One of the program’s goals
is to teach students about the importance of good nutrition, including eating fresh fruit and
vegetables. The reauthorized Farm Bill provides for a nationwide expansion of the Fresh Fruit and
Vegetable Program, and requires state agencies to reach out to schools with significant numbers of
children eligible for free or reduced price meals to inform them of their eligibility for the program.
The bill also authorizes mandatory funding of $40 million for the program in 2008; $65 million in
2009; $101 million in 2010; $150 million in 2011, and $150 million indexed for inflation in 2012.
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides meals and snacks to 2.9 million
low-income children in day care and 86,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult day care
centers.489 Reimbursement for meals is based upon income.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
is a federal grant program that provides supplemental food, counseling, and nutritional education for
low-income pregnant or postpartum women and children up to age 5.490 Fifty-four percent of all U.S.
infants received WIC benefits in 2000, as did 25 percent of U.S. children ages 1-4.491 WIC food packages also provide supplements for the children’s mothers. In FY 2007, the federal government spent
$5.5 billion on WIC and served about 8.2 million Americans, who on average received about $39 a
month for food purchases.492
119
AGENCY
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
PROGRAM/ INITIATIVES
The WIC Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) provides fresh, unprepared, locally
grown fruits and vegetables to WIC participants. Established by Congress in 1992, the program
served 2.5 million WIC participants in FY 2006 who were able to buy fresh produce from the
14,259 farmers, 2,896 farmers’ markets and 2,136 roadside stands that were authorized to accept
FMNP coupons.493 The program generated over $22.4 million in revenues for participating
farmers in FY 2006.494
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
The Seniors Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) is another means by which USDA
provides low-income citizens, in this case senior citizens, with coupons to buy fresh produce at
local participating farmers’ markets.495 In FY 2007, 46 states and federally recognized tribal agencies
received grants to operate the SFMNP program. The program received $16 million in FY 2007
and served over 800,000 needy seniors.496 The new Farm Bill provides $20.6 million in mandatory
funding each year for the program over the next 5 years.
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) targets low-income pregnant and
breastfeeding women, other new mothers up to one year postpartum, infants, children up to age
6, and elderly people at least 60 years of age by supplementing their diets with USDA commodity
foods. The population served is very similar to the WIC program, but CSFP also serves low-income
senior citizens and provides food instead of the food vouchers WIC participants receive.497 In FY
2007, an average of more than 466,000 people participated in CSFP each month, including just
under 433,000 elderly people and more than 33,000 women, infants, and children.498 For FY 2008,
Congress appropriated $139.7 million for CSFP.499 The President’s budget would zero out the
program in FY 2009.
The Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP) develops nutritional education
information and works to disseminate research findings through outreach materials to targeted
populations.500 Dietary guidelines and the Food Pyramid are CNPP’s notable initiatives; both were
updated in 2005.
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
Food and Nutrition
Services (FNS)
U.S. Department of
Defense (DOD)
AGENCY
Military Health System
Department of Defense
Education Activity
(DoDEA)
120
The Department of Defense is responsible for national security.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
To combat the growing obesity problem among U.S. servicemen and women, each of the armed
services has developed programs to promote fitness and health: the Army has Weigh to Stay; the
Navy and Marine Corps have ShipShape; the Air Force has Fit to Fight. These programs use
nutrition and fitness counseling to move military personnel and their families toward healthier food
choices, exercise habits, and lifestyles.
The U.S. military healthcare system, TRICARE, has a healthy choices initiative called HEALTH
(Healthy Eating and Active Living in TRICARE Households) that helps participants reach their
desired weight and teaches them how to live a healthier lifestyle. TRICARE members who join
HEALTH receive information on healthy meal planning, create a personalized exercise program,
and work with a phone counselor and primary care manager to determine individual weight loss
goals and how to maintain a healthy weight.501
The Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) manages the education programs
for children of U.S. military personnel and civilian personnel who are stationed at bases at home
and abroad. The 199-school system employees some 8,700 teachers and reaches 88,000 students.
The system is set up to handle the needs of these children who change schools frequently due to
their parents’ assignments. To maintain continuity, the school system teaches from a uniform
curriculum and standards. Included in the DoDEA curriculum are lessons on physical activity,
nutrition and physical education.502
U.S. Department
of Education
AGENCY
Office of Safe and
Drug-Free Schools
(OSDFS)
U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency
(EPA)
AGENCY
U.S. Federal Trade
Commission (FTC)
AGENCY
The Department of Education runs federal education programs and implements and collects data
on federal education policies such as No Child Left Behind. The high profile nature of the
Department gives the secretary of education the ability to draw national attention to key issues, for
instance, childhood obesity and physical inactivity.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides competitive grants to schools and
community-based organizations to implement and expand quality PE programs for students in
kindergarten through grade 12. The President’s budget proposes to zero out this program, which
was funded at $75.6 million in FY 2008.
The EPA’s mission is to protect human health and the environment.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
The EPA Smart Growth Program helps state and local governments develop communities that
are environmentally friendly, preserve open space and historic buildings, and encourage the use of
public transportation or active commuting (biking or walking) by putting amenities such as
restaurants and businesses near homes. The Smart Growth Program also works on the clean-up of
contaminated properties, so-called Brownfields, to ensure that the local residents are part of the
economic redevelopment process for these sites.
The president’s FY 2009 budget proposes $1.191 billion for Healthy Communities and Ecosystems,
of which the Smart Growth Program is a small component. That is $36.4 million less than the
FY 2008 enacted budget.
The FTC deals with both consumer protection and fair business competition.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
In May 2006, FTC and HHS released a report “Perspectives on Marketing, Self-Regulation, &
Childhood Obesity: A Report on a Joint Workshop of the Federal Trade Commission”
recommending concrete steps that industry can take to change their marketing and other practices
to make progress against childhood obesity. While the report was an important step forward, all
the recommendations detailed in the report are voluntary. How many of them will actually be
implemented by the food, media and entertainment industries remains to be seen. FTC and HHS
have said they will closely monitor industry progress in implementing the recommendations set
forth in the report, and issue a follow-up report assessing the progress that industry has made.503
121
U.S. Department of
Health and Human
Services (HHS)
AGENCY
Administration on
Aging (AOA)
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
122
As the nation’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential
human services, HHS has a key role to play in the national effort to combat obesity.
INITIATIVES/PROGRAMS
AOA launched You Can! Steps to Healthier Aging in September 2004. The goal of the
program was to promote physical activity and sound nutrition in elderly populations. By September
30, 2006 when the campaign ended, a total of more than 2,800 organizations had made a commitment to reach 4.2 million older adults with information and 436,000 with programs.504
The National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (NCCDPHP)
at the CDC has been leading the agency’s obesity-related initiatives. CDC manages a wide range
of programs aimed at combating obesity including state, community, school, and employer-based
initiatives, as well as marketing campaigns. A number of CDC’s key programs are discussed below.
Four of CDC’s major obesity-related initiatives are grant-based programs -- Preventive Health
and Health Services Block Grant, Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH),
Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity (DNPAO), and Division of Adult and
Community Health (DACH).
The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG) awarded grants to
all 50 states and the District of Columbia in FY 2007. The grants are used “to fill funding gaps in
programs that deal with leading causes of death and disability,” as well as to enable states to
respond rapidly to public health emergencies, such as a foodborne disease outbreak.505 President
Bush’s FY 2009 budget proposal recommended zeroing out the PHHSBG, which was funded at
$97,270,000 in FY 2008.
The Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) funds programs that use
various nutrition and physical activity intervention strategies to address obesity and other chronic
diseases. Under the new 5-year grant cycle that began in June 2008, 23 states received funding,
5 fewer than the previous grant cycle. President Bush’s FY 2009 budget proposal recommended
funding DNPAO at $42,018,000, just slightly below the FY 2008 amount of $ 42,191,000.
The Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) seeks to prevent health adverse
behavior in school-aged children and young adults. DASH’s Coordinated School Health Program
provides funding for 22 states and one tribe to develop coordinated school health programs. The
President’s FY 2009 budget proposal recommended $13,553,000 for DASH’s Coordinated School
Health Program, which deals specifically with nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco slightly below
the FY 2008 level of $13,609,000.
The Division of Adult and Community Health (DACH) is charged with providing crosscutting
chronic disease and health promotion expertise and support to CDC’s National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. It oversees 2 crucial programs in the fight to prevent
and treat obesity: the Steps Program and the Pioneering Healthier Communities Program.
The Steps Program funds communities across the country to show how local initiatives can
reduce the burden of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and asthma by encouraging people
to be more physically active, eat a healthy diet, and not use tobacco.506 The President’s FY 2009
budget proposes a $9,617,000 cut to the Steps Program, which was funded at $25,158,000 in FY
2008 and $42,904,000 in FY 2007.
The Pioneering Healthier Communities program, a partnership with the CDC and the YMCA
of the USA, addresses physical inactivity, poor nutrition, obesity and related chronic diseases in
communities across our nation. Pioneering Healthier Communities impacts 20 new communities
each year; over 60 communities have been reached since FY 2005. The President’s FY 2009
budget proposal zeroes out the program, a decrease of $2.9 million from FY 2008.
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the nation’s health statistics agency.
NCHS data is used to inform public health and health policy.507 NCHS uses a variety of approaches
to collect data including birth and death records, medical records, interview surveys, and direct
physical exams and laboratory testing. As the Institute of Medicine has noted, “surveillance is
essential to maximize the probability of success and efficiency of effort,” in the fight against obesity.508
As such NCHS should be a key component of the federal government’s National Strategy to
Combat Obesity. The President’s FY 2009 budget proposes $124,701,000 for health statistics, an
increase of $11,065,000 over the FY 2008 level of $113,636, 000.
AGENCY
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention
Centers for Medicare and
Medicaid Services (CMS)
Food and Drug
Administration (FDA)
Health Resources and
Services Administration
(HRSA)
Indian Health Service
(IHS)
National Institutes of
Health (NIH)
INITIATIVES/PROGRAMS
The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the only consistent source of state
and community level data on overweight and obesity available to state and local health departments.
In addition to overweight and obesity data, BRFSS enables the analysis of related health risks, such as
diabetes, physical inactivity, and hypertension, as demonstrated by this report. The Presidents FY 2009
budget proposes $7,269,000 for the BRFSS, a decrease from $7,299,000 from FY 2008.
The Healthier Worksite Initiative is a website CDC developed for its own employees “with
the vision of making CDC a work site where ‘healthy choices are easy choices,’ and sharing the
‘lessons learned’ with other federal agencies.”509 Resources including program design tools and
information, policies, and toolkits are available online at http://www.cdc.gov/hwi.
Medicare and Medicaid pay over half of the nation’s bill to treat obesity-related conditions -- $39 billion
out of a total of $75 billion in direct medical costs each year. CMS, through its decisions regarding
coverage of obesity prevention and treatment services, can dramatically affect the course of the
obesity epidemic.
In March 2004, the Food and Drug Administration released the Calories Count report, the result
of an interagency working group on obesity.510 The report includes recommendations to
strengthen food labeling, to educate consumers about maintaining a healthy diet and weight and to
encourage restaurants to provide calorie and nutrition information. It also recommends increasing
enforcement to ensure food labels accurately portray serving size, revising and reissuing guidance on
developing obesity drugs and strengthening coordinated scientific research to reduce obesity and to
develop foods that are healthier and low in calories.
In 2007, FDA partnered with the Cartoon Network to launch Spot the Block, a media campaign
targeted at ‘tweens’ that seeks to educate children on how to better use the Nutrition Facts label.
The program’s objective is to “combat childhood obesity by empowering ‘tweens’ to look for and
use the Nutrition Facts on the food label.”511
The FDA also reviews drugs and medical devices that are used for medical management of obesity.
HRSA seeks to expand health care for all Americans and is structured to focus on specific populations.
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau (MCHB) coordinates several obesity-related programs,
including one component of the Bright Futures initiative and the National Adolescent Health
Information Center (NAHIC).
The President’s FY 2009 budget proposes to cut HRSA’s total program level by almost $1 billion,
from $6.916 billion in FY 2008, to $5.921 billion.512 That includes a $39 million reduction in
maternal and child health programs, from $849 million in FY 2008 to $809 million in FY 2009.
The mission of the Indian Health Service (IHS) is “to elevate the health status of American Indian and
Alaska Natives (AI/AN) to the highest possible level.”513 Large disparities remain between the general U.S.
population and the American Indian/ Native Alaskan population. For instance, one in 5 American Indian/
Alaskan Native children are overweight compared to one in 5 children in the general U.S. population.
Many of the obesity prevention initiatives are funded via IHS’s Hospitals and Health Clinics’
public and community health initiatives, such as Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, which
counts obesity and physical activity and exercise as 2 of its primary prevention focus areas, and the
Chronic Care Initiative. The President’s FY 2009 proposed budget for Hospitals and Health Clinics
seeks $1.522 billion, an increase of $37.9 million from FY 2008.514
In FY 2007, NIH funded $661 million in obesity research. The complexity of obesity -- both its
causes and treatments -- led to the creation of the Obesity Research Task Force, which
implements the Strategic Plan for NIH Obesity Research. The Plan focuses on 4 areas: lifestyle
modification; medical approaches; linkages between obesity and health, specifically the detection
of biomarkers and other molecular factors that serve as early warning signs for the development
of obesity-related health problems; and health disparities among certain racial, ethnic, and
socioeconomic populations.515
The Plan coordinates research across all 25 NIH Institutes, Centers, and Offices. Research studies
examine clinical and population-based outcomes across the short-, intermediate-, and the long-term.
Given the complexity of obesity research, it is difficult to gauge how much money NIH spends on
obesity-related research each year. However, on obesity research alone, NIH’s FY 2009
professional budget estimate is $658 million, $2 million less than in FY 2008.
123
AGENCY
National Institutes of
Health (NIH)
National Institutes of
Health (NIH)
Office of Disease
Prevention and Health
Promotion
Office of the Surgeon
General
Office of Women’s
Health (OWH)
President’s Council on
Physical Fitness and
Sports (PCPFS)
124
INITIATIVES/PROGRAMS
We Can! (Ways to Enhance Children’s Activity & Nutrition) is a national program designed
as a one-stop resource for parents and caregivers interested in practical tools to help children 8-13
years old stay at a healthy weight. Tips and fun activities focus on three critical behaviors: improved
food choices, increased physical activity and reduced screen time.
The program is a collaboration of 4 Institutes of the National Institutes of Health (NIH): the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
(NICHD) and the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Media-Smart Youth: Eat, Think, and Be Active! is an interactive after-school education
program for young people ages 11 to 13. It is designed to help teach them about the complex
media world around them, and how it can affect their health -- especially in the areas of nutrition
and physical activity. This program was created by the National Institute of Child Health and Human
Development (NICHD).
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) develops and
coordinates a wide range of national disease prevention and health promotion strategies. Together
with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), ODPHP publishes the Dietary Guidelines for
Americans every 5 years. The Office is also responsible for setting national health goals via the
Healthy People reports. Issued every 10 years, ODPHP is currently in the early phases of
developing Healthy People 2020.
The Surgeon General is America’s preeminent health educator, providing leadership and
management of public health and advocating for scientifically credible and healthy lifestyle directions.516
The position has been filled by Acting Surgeon General Steven K. Galson since 2006, when President
Bush failed to renew the 4-year term of then Surgeon General Richard Carmona. Acting Surgeon
General Galson has made childhood obesity a top prevention priority of his tenure. In November
2007, his office launched the “Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Initiative, Healthy Youth
for a Healthy Future,” which targets overweight and obesity prevention and promotes healthy lifestyles
for children.517 The initiative includes checklists for parents and caregivers, schools and teachers, and
communities to help children be physically active and support healthy eating habits.
OWH sponsors a number of initiatives related to obesity prevention and control, including the
WOMAN Challenge, or Women and girls Out Moving Across the Nation. The WOMAN
Challenge is a free 8-week challenge that encourages women and girls to walk 10,000 steps or get
30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.518 Now in its ninth year, The WOMAN Challenge is
launched in May to coincide with National Women’s Health Week. The president’s FY 2009
proposed budget for OWH is $28 million, a $3 million decrease from FY 2008.
The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports was established in 1956 by President
Dwight D. Eisenhower after a study found American children less fit than European youths.
The Council, which is a group of 20 members appointed to serve at the pleasure of the president,
advises the president through the Secretary of Health and Human Services about physical activity,
sports and overall fitness. The Council also recommends programs, supports health initiatives, and
collaborates with public and private sector groups to emphasize the importance of regular physical
activity and fitness, for Americans of all ages and abilities.
PCPFS is housed at HHS and advises the President and Secretary of HHS on ways to encourage
more Americans to become physically fit and active. The PCPFS communicates with the public on
the importance of exercise; increases physical activity participation and opportunities by encouraging
related efforts in schools and communities; collaborates with business, industry, government and
labor organizations on innovative programs to reduce the financial and health care costs associated
with physical inactivity; and cooperates with medical, dental and other allied health care professional
associations to encourage patient counseling on physical activity and fitness habits and practices.
U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban
Development (HUD)
AGENCY
HUD’s mission is to increase home ownership, support community development and increase
access to affordable housing free from discrimination. As part of its mission, HUD works to
improve the living environment of low-income Americans.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program provides communities with
resources to address a wide range of unique community development needs. Grants can be used
to develop viable communities by providing decent housing, a suitable living environment, and
opportunities to expand economic opportunities. CDBG funds can be used for park and recreation
projects which can affect physical activity. The president’s FY 2009 budget contains $3 billion for
the CDBG program, a $866 million decrease from FY 2008.
U.S. Department of
the Interior
The Department of the Interior is the nation’s principal conservation agency responsible for
protecting federal lands and managing natural resources. Parks and open spaces provide opportunities for Americans to engage in physical activity.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
The Take it Outside: Children and Nature Initiative is a new initiative to “to encourage more
children and their families to spend more time outdoors on the public lands; to improve the overall
health of our Nation’s children; and to promote stewardship of the public lands.”519 The budget for
this program is minimal at $225,000.
The National Parks Service undertook a review of its assets and resources in 2006 in order to
address the role NPS can play in promoting and providing healthy recreational activities. The report
“Health, Recreation and Our National Parks” details the many ways NPS can offer opportunities for
Americans’ to improve their overall fitness and health520 NPS has developed a number of programs
and initiatives to foster healthy living, several of which are detailed below. The president’s FY 2009
budget requests $2.1 billion, an increase of $160.9 million from FY 2008.
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)’s goal is to “meet state and locally identified
public outdoor recreation resources needs to strengthen the health and vitality of the American
People.”521 The federal program awards grant monies to state and local governments and solicits
matching dollar amounts from state and local governments, as well as the private sector, to acquire
land for recreation, develop new recreation facilities, and improve existing facilities. In FY 2008,
LWCF awarded $23 million in grants.522 However, the president’s FY 2009 budget zeroes out
these funds for LWCF State Assistance grants. Instead, revenues from the management of the
Outer Continental Shelf will be used for Stateside LWCF Grants. FY 2009 is the first year of this
new arrangement and the president’s budget request is for $6.3 billion.
Healthy Parks/ Healthy Living “is a park-based program intended to promote the daily
recreational benefits inherent in urban national parks and encourage local park visitors to
participate in healthy activities and outdoor recreational opportunities in a manner that supports
the agency’s mission of stewardship.”523
The Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program helps local groups plan and develop
new trails, greenways, and open space that are close to home and encourage regular physical
activity.524 The program offers technical assistance to community groups, nonprofits and local, state,
and federal government agencies to conserve rivers, preserve open space, and develop trails and
greenways. FY 2007 funding for this initiative was about $8.3 million. The president’s FY 2009
budget reduces this program by $314,000.
AGENCY
Bureau of Land
Management
National Parks Service
National Parks Service
National Parks Service
National Parks Service
125
Office of Personnel
and Management
AGENCY
OPM is responsible for building a high-quality and diverse federal workforce, based on merit
system principles. This is accomplished by recruiting citizens to federal service, connecting job
applicants with federal agencies and departments, and administering retirement, health benefits,
long-term care, and life insurance programs.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
In an effort to reduce the demands on the health care system and associated costs, OPM manages
the HealthierFeds initiative, which educates the federal civilian workforce and retirees about
healthy living and best health care strategies. In partnership with Federal Employees Health
Benefits Program (FEHB) carriers, OPM runs a web site that offers practical information on
nutrition, physical activity, and prevention (http://www.healthierfeds.opm.gov/)
The FEHB, like Medicare and Medicaid, is a federal program that is bearing the ever-increasing
health care costs associated with obesity. In FY 2009 the program is expected to cover over
8 million federal employees, annuitants, and their dependents and pay out benefits of $37.4 billion,
an increase of $2.3 billion from FY 2008.
According to a 2003 study, every additional 30-minute time period a person spends in a car
each day translates into a 3 percent greater chance of being obese.525
U.S. Department of
Transportation (DOT)
AGENCY
Federal Highway
Administration
Federal Highway
Administration
Federal Highway
Administration
Federal Highway
Administration
126
The Department of Transportation’s mission is to “serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe,
efficient, accessible and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and
enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.”526
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
Safe Routes to School provides funding for programs and projects such as building safer street
crossings and establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle
safely to school. The president’s FY 2009 budget request for this program is $183 million, up $33
million from FY 2008.
The Pedestrian Road Show is a toolkit DOT put together to help communities identify and
address their pedestrian safety problems and build more walk-able communities.
Transportation Enhancements Activities are federally funded, community-based projects that
expand travel choices and enhance the transportation experience by improving the cultural, historic,
aesthetic and environmental aspects of our transportation infrastructure.527 The federal government
reimburses up to 80 percent of the cost of approved TE programs. There are 12 eligible activities
that qualify for the TE program. Of these 12 there are several that could arguably promote
physical activity:
Provision of pedestrian and bicycle facilities;
Provision of pedestrian and bicycle safety and education activities;
Acquisition of scenic or historic easements and sites;
Rehabilitation and operation of historic transportation buildings, structures, or facilities; and
Conversion of abandoned railway corridors to trails.
The president’s FY 2009 budget request for this program is $660 million.
The Non-motorized Transportation Pilot Program, part of the 2005 Transportation Bill,
established programs in 4 U.S. communities (Columbia, Missouri; Marin County, California;
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota; and Sheboygan County, Wisconsin.) to develop a “network of
non-motorized transportation infrastructure facilities, including sidewalks, bicycle lanes, and
pedestrian and bicycle trails, that connect directly with transit stations, schools, residences,
businesses, recreation areas, and other community activity centers.”528 Each community can
receive $6.25 million in grant money each year for this project. Funding has remained constant at
$25 million per fiscal year since FY2006.529
U.S. Department of
Treasury
AGENCY
The Treasury Department is responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the
financial security of the United States. Among the Treasury Department’s responsibilities is the regulation of financial markets and tax collection.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
In the area of tax collection and the tax code, the Department of Treasury is able to issue rulings clarifying tax deductions. In fact, in 2002 the Treasury Department issued Revenue Ruling 2002-19 which
changed the philosophy of the Internal Revenue Service by allowing weight-loss program deductions
for obesity and as a treatment for hypertension.530 The Treasury Department did not go as far as to
extend the tax deduction for exercise programs that are recommended by physicians to foster
weight loss among obese and overweight patients.
The VA serves over 6 million veterans; nearly 70 percent are overweight, of whom
approximately 30 percent are obese.531
U.S. Department of
Veterans Affairs (VA)
AGENCY
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans
and their dependents.
PROGRAM/INITIATIVES
The VA together with HHS implements HealthierUS Veterans, a program to educate veterans
about the health risks of obesity and diabetes. One component of the HealthierUS Veterans
initiative is the MOVE! (Managing Overweight/Obesity for Veterans Everywhere) Program.
The MOVE! Program is a weight management and physical activity initiative designed for veterans
enrolled in the VA health care system who want assistance with managing their weight. The
program relies on evidence-based methods that focus on behavior, nutrition, and physical activity.
VA primary care providers give each veteran enrolled in MOVE! a pedometer, a brochure that
explains how to use the pedometer, and an exercise prescription for recommended physical
activity, such as a number of daily steps to walk. All providers have been encouraged to give their
patients similar activity guidance.532
127
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14 Serdula, M.K., D. Ivery, R.J. Coates, D.S. Freedman,
D.F. Williamson, and T. Byers. “Do Obese Children
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20 The CPT code set, maintained by the American
Medical Association, is used by physicians and
other health care providers to bill for medical
services and procedures. Obesity-related
HCPCS (Health Care Financing Administration
Common Procedure Coding Systems) Level II
codes were also selected. These codes are used
for products, supplies, and services not included in the CPT codes but often covered by
Medicare and other insurers.
21 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center on Vital Statistics. Health, United
States, 2003. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, 2003.
22 Ibid.
23 Stunkard, A. J. and T. A. Wadden, eds. Obesity:
Theory and Therapy. Second ed. New York, NY:
Raven Press, 1993.
24 National Research Council. Diet and Health:
Implications for Reducing Chronic Disease Risk.
Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press, 1989.
25 Ibid.
26 Barlow, S.E. “Expert Committee
Recommendations Regarding the Prevention,
Assessment, and Treatment of Child and
Adolescent Overweight and Obesity: Summary
Report.” Pediatrics 120, suppl 4 (2007): S164-S192.
27 Squires, S. “One Number Doesn’t Fit All.” The
Washington Post. July 5, 2005.
28 Ibid.
29 Ibid.
30 Parker-Pope, T. “Watch Your Girth.” The New
York Times, May 13, 2008.
31 Ibid.
32 Ibid.
33 Freedman, D. S., L. K. Khan, M. K. Serdula, W.
H. Dietz, S. R. Srinivasan, and G. S. Berenson.
“The Relation of Childhood BMI to Adult
Adiposity: The Bogalusa Heart Study.” Pediatrics
115, no. 1 (2005): 22-27.
46 Cowie, C.C., K.F. Rust, D.D. Byrd-Hold, et al.
“Prevalence of Diabetes and Impaired Fasting
Glucose in Adults in the U.S. Population: National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 19992002.” Diabetes Care 29, no. 6 (2006): 1263-1268.
34 Freedman, D. S., H. S. Kahn, Z. Mei, L. M.
Grummer-Strawn, W. H. Dietz, S. R. Srinivasan,
and G. S. Berenson. “Relation of Body Mass Index
and Waist-to-Height Ratio to Cardiovascular
Disease Risk Factors in Children and Adolescents:
The Bogalusa Heart Study.” The American Journal
of Clinical Nutrition 86, no. 1 (2007): 33-40.
47 Ibid.
35 Must, A., J. Spadano, E. H. Coakley, A. E. Field,
G. Colditz, and W. H. Dietz. “The Disease
Burden Associated with Overweight and
Obesity.” The Journal of the American Medical
Association 282, no. 16 (1999): 1523-1529.
36 Parker-Pope, T. “Watch Your Girth.” The New
York Times, May 13, 2008.
37 American Medical Association (AMA). Expert
Committee Recommendations on the Assessment,
Prevention, and Treatment of Child and Adolescent
Over weight and Obesity. Chicago, IL: AMA, 2007,
http://www.ama-assn.org/ama1/pub/upload/
mm/433/ped_obesity_recs.pdf (accessed
April 22, 2008).
38 Ogden, C.L., M.D. Carroll, and K.M. Flegal.
“High Body Mass Index for Age among U.S.
Children and Adolescents, 2003-2006.” Journal
of the American Medical Association 299, no. 20
(2008): 2401-2405.
39 Ebbeling, C.B. and D.S. Ludwig. “Tracking
Pediatric Obesity: An Index of Uncertainty?”
Journal of the American Medical Association 299,
no. 20 (2008): 2442-2443.
40 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Resources and Services Administration,
Maternal and Child Health Bureau. National
Survey of Children’s Health 2003. Rockville, MD:
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2005, http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/overweight/
techapp.htm (accessed April 22, 2008).
48 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Number of People with Diabetes Continues to
Increase.” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. http://cdc.gov/Features/
DiabetesFactSheet/ (accessed June 26, 2008).
49 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CDC Protecting Health for Life: The State of the CDC,
Fiscal Year 2004. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, 2005.
50 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Number of People with Diabetes Continues to
Increase.” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. http://cdc.gov/Features/
DiabetesFactSheet/ (accessed June 26, 2008).
51 Narayan, K. M., J. P. Boyle, L. S. Geiss, J. B.
Saaddine, and T. J. Thompson. “Impact of
Recent Increase in Incidence on Future
Diabetes Burden: U.S., 2005-2050.” Diabetes Care
29, no. 9 (Sep, 2006): 2114-2116.
52 American Diabetes Association. “Total Prevalence
of Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes.” American Diabetes
Association. http://diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics/prevalence.jsp (accessed April 18, 2008).
53 Ibid.
54 The Diabetes Prevention Program Research
Group. “The Diabetes Prevention Program.”
Diabetes Care 25, no. 12 (2002): 2165-2171.
55 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“National Diabetes Fact Sheet - General Information.” U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services. http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/
general05.htm#what (accessed April 21, 2008).
56 Kaufman, F.R. “Type 2 Diabetes in Children and
Young Adults: A ‘New Epidemic’.” Clinical
Diabetes 20, no. 4 (October 1, 2002): 217-218.
41 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance - United States, 2007.” Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
57 Ibid.
42 Polhamus, B., K. Dalenius, E. Borland, B. Smith,
and L. Grummer-Strawn. Pediatric Nutrition
Surveillance 2006 Report. Atlanta, GA: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services,
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2007.
59 Cavallo, J. “Who Has Diabetes?” Juvenile Diabetes
Research Foundation Countdown (Spring 2006): 10-19.
43 Ezzati, M., H. Martin, S. Skjold, S. Vander
Hoorn, and C. J. Murray. “Trends in National
and State-Level Obesity in the USA after
Correction for Self-Report Bias: Analysis of
Health Surveys.” Journal of the Royal Society of
Medicine 99, no. 5 (May, 2006): 250-257.
44 Putnam, J., J. Allshouse, and L. S. Kantor. “U.S.
per Capita Food Supply Trends: More Calories,
Refined Carbohydrates, and Fats.” Food Review
25, no. 3 (2002): 1-14.
45 National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases. “Do You Know the Health Risks of
being Overweight?” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/publica
tions/health_risks.htm (accessed April 18, 2007).
58 American Diabetes Association. “Preventing
Type 2 Diabetes in Children and Teens.” Diabetes
Spectrum 18, no. 4 (October 1, 2005): 249-250.
60 Writing Group for the SEARCH for Diabetes in
Youth Study Group, D. Dabelea, R. A. Bell, R. B.
D’Agostino Jr, G. Imperatore, J. M. Johansen, B.
Linder, et al. “Incidence of Diabetes in Youth in
the United States.” The Journal of the American
Medical Association 297, no. 24 (2007): 2716-2724.
61 Kaufman, F.R. “Type 2 Diabetes in Children and
Young Adults: A ‘New Epidemic’.” Clinical
Diabetes 20, no. 4 (October 1, 2002): 217-218.
62 American Diabetes Association. “Total Prevalence
of Diabetes & Pre-Diabetes.” American Diabetes
Association. http://diabetes.org/diabetes-statistics/prevalence.jsp (accessed April 18, 2008).
63 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion.
“Physical Activity and Fitness-Improving Health,
Fitness, and Quality Of Life through Daily Physical
Activity.” Prevention Report, 16, no. 4 (July 2002): 1-15.
http://odphp.osophs.dhhs.gov/pubs/prevrpt/02V
olume16/Iss4Vol16.pdf (accessed May 12, 2008).
129
64 American Heart Association. Heart Disease and
Stroke Statistics - 2006 Update. Dallas, TX:
American Heart Association, 2006.
65 Ibid.
66 National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases. “Do You Know the Health Risks
of being Overweight?” U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/
publications/health_risks.htm (accessed April 18,
2007).
67 Ibid.
68 The Obesity Society. “Obesity Statistics - U.S.
Trends.” The Obesity Society.
http://www.obesity.org/statistics/obesity_trends
.asp (accessed April 18, 2008).
69 National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and
Kidney Diseases. “Do You Know the Health Risks
of being Overweight?” U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services. http://win.niddk.nih.gov/
publications/health_risks.htm (accessed April 18,
2007).
70 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Obesity in the News: Helping Clear the Confusion.”
Power Point Presentation, May 25, 2005.
71 American Cancer Society. Cancer Facts and Figures
2007. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society, 2007.
72 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Obesity in the News: Helping Clear the Confusion.”
Power Point Presentation, May 25, 2005.
73 Beydoun, M.A., H.A. Beydoun, and Y. Wang.
“Obesity and Central Obesity as Risk Factors for
Incident Dementia and Its Subtypes: A
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Obesity
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74 Petry, N. M., D. Barry, R. H. Pietrzak, and J. A.
Wagner. “Overweight and Obesity Are
Associated with Psychiatric Disorders: Results
from the National Epidemiologic Survey on
Alcohol and Related Conditions.” Psychosomatic
Medicine 70, no. 3 (2008): 288-297.
75 Ibid.
76 Wang, Y., X. Chen, Y. Song, B. Caballero, and L.J.
Cheskin. “Association between Obesity and Kidney
Disease: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.”
Kidney International 73, no. 1 (2008): 19-33.
84 U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services (USDHHS). The Surgeon General’s Call to
Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and
Obesity. Washington, D.C.: USDHHS, 2001.
85 Ibid.
86 Levine, S., B. Maloney, B. Schulte, and R. Stein.
“How Obesity Harms a Child’s Body.” The
Washington Post, May 18, 2008.
87 American College of Obstetricians and
Gynecologists. Adolescents and Obesity - A Resource
Guide. Washington, D.C.: American College of
Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 2007.
http://www.acog.org/departments/Adolescent
HealthCare/AdolescentsandObesity.pdf
(accessed May 28, 2008).
88 Trust for America’s Health. Healthy Women: The
Path to Healthy Babies, The Case for Preconception
Care. Washington, D.C.: TFAH, 2008.
89 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Recommendations to Improve
Preconception Health and Health Care-United
States.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 55,
no. 4 (2006): RR-6.
90 Chu, S.Y., D.J. Bachman, W.M. Callaghan, et al.
“Association between Obesity during Pregnancy
and Increased Use of Health Care.” New England
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1444-1453.
91 Ibid.
92 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
and U.S. Department of Agriculture. Dietary
Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th Edition,
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing
Office, 2005
93 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Physical Activity for Everyone. http://www.cdc.gov/
nccdphp/dnpa/physical/everyone/recommendat
ions/older_adults.htm (accessed July 1, 2008).
77 Ibid.
94 U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th
Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government
Printing Office, January 2005
78 Felson, D.T., and Y. Zhang. “An Update on the
Epidemiology of Knee and Hip Osteoarthritis
with a View to Prevention.” Arthritis and
Rheumatism 41, no. 8 (1998):1343-1355.
95 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
System Survey Data. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department
of Health and Human Services, 2006.
79 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“NHIS Arthritis Surveillance.” U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services. http://www.cdc.gov/
arthritis/data_statistics/national_data_nhis.htm#e
xcess (accessed June 26, 2008).
96 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey
Data . Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services, 2005.
80 Warner, J. “Small Weight Loss Takes Big
Pressure off Knee.” WebMD Health News.
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0050629/small-weight-loss-takes-pressure-offknee (accessed June 26, 2008).
81 Ogden, C.L., M.D. Carroll, and K.M. Flegal.
“High Body Mass Index for Age among U.S.
Children and Adolescents, 2003-2006.” Journal
of the American Medical Association 299, no. 20
(2008): 2401-2405.
130
83 Daniels, S.R., F.R. Greer and the Committee on
Nutrition. “Lipid Screening and Cardiovascular
Health in Childhood.” Pediatrics 122, no. 1
(2008): 198-208.
82 Institute of Medicine (IOM). Childhood Obesity
in the United States: Facts and Figures.
Washington, D.C.: IOM, September 2004.
97 Blair, S.N. “The Importance of Fitness in Children
and Adults.” Presentation at the IOM Annual
Meeting, October 16, 2000. http://www.iom.edu/
CMS/7622/7625.aspx (accessed April 18, 2008).
98 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention, National Center for Chronic
Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, and
Division of Nutrition and Physical Activity. Promoting
Physical Activity: A Guide for Community Action. Vol. 1.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999.
99 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Trends in Leisure-Time Physical Inactivity by
Age, Sex, and race/ethnicity—United States,
1994-2004.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
54, no. 39 (Oct 7, 2005): 991-994.
121 Amy, N.K., A. Aalborg, P. Lyons, and L
Keranen. “Barriers to Routine Gynecological
Cancer Screening for White and AfricanAmerican Obese Women.” International Journal
of Obesity 30, no. 1 (2006): 147-155.
100 U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, Public Health Service, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention, National
Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and
Health Promotion, and Division of Nutrition
and Physical Activity. Promoting Physical Activity:
A Guide for Community Action. Vol. 1.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1999.
122 Olson, C.L., H.D. Schumaker, and B.P Yawn.
“Overweight Women Delay Medical Care.”
Archives of Family Medicine 3, no. 10 (1994): 888-892.
101 Ibid.
102 Nader, P.R., R.H. Bradley, R.M. Houts, S. L.
McRitchie, and M. O’Brien. “Moderate-toVigorous Physical Activity from Ages 9 to 15
Years.” Journal of the American Medical Association
300, no. 3 (2008): 295-305.
103 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
-- United States, 2007.” Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
104 Ibid.
105 Ibid.
106 Ibid.
123 Fontaine, K.R., M.S. Faith, D.B. Allison, and L.J
Cheskin. “Body Weight and Health Care among
Women in the General Population.” Archives of
Family Medicine, 7, no. 4 (1998): 381-384.
124 Rand, C.S., and A.M. Macgregor. “Morbidly Obese
Patients’ Perceptions of Social Discrimination
Before and After Surgery for Obesity.” Southern
Medical Journal 83, no. 12 (1990): 1398-1395.
125 Schwimmer J.B., T.M. Burwinkle, and J.W.
Varni. “Health-Related Quality of Life of
Severely Obese Children and Adolescents.”
Journal of the American Medical Association 289,
no. 14 (2003): 1851-1853.
126 U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005. 6th
Edition, Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government
Printing Office, 2005
108 Exercise is Medicine. A Newsletter Promoting the
Benefits of Activity. Volume 1, Spring 2008.
127 McGinnis, M. J. Obesity: An American Public Health
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109 Andreyeva, T., R. Puhl, and K.D. Brownell.
“Changes in Perceived Weight Discrimination
among Americans: 1995-1996 through 20042006.” Obesity 16, no. 5 (2008):1129-1134.
128 Putnam, J., J. Allshouse, and L. S. Kantor. “U.S.
per Capita Food Supply Trends: More Calories,
Refined Carbohydrates, and Fats.” Food Review
25, no. 3 (2002): 1-14.
110 Roehling, M.V., P.V. Roehling, and S. Pichler.
“The Relationship between Body Weight and
Perceived Weight-Related Employment Discrimination: The Role of Sex and Race.” Journal of
Vocational Behavior, 71, no. 2 (2007): 300-318.
129 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Trends in Intake of Energy and Macronutrients
—United States, 1971-2000.” Morbidity and
Mortality Weekly Report 53, no. 4 (2004): 80-82.
107 Ibid.
111 Pingitore, R., R. Dugoni, S. Tindale, and B.
Spring. “Bias against Overweight Job Applicants
in a Simulated Employment Interview.” Journal
of Applied Psychology 79, no. 6 (1994): 909-917.
112 Baum, C.L. and W.F. Ford. “The Wage Effects
of Obesity: A Longitudinal Study.” Health
Economics 13, no. 9 (2004):885-899.
130 Briefel, R. R. and C. L. Johnson. “Secular
Trends in Dietary Intake in the United States.”
Annual Review of Nutrition 24, (2004): 401-431.
131 Nielsen, S. J. and B. M. Popkin. “Patterns and
Trends in Food Portion Sizes, 1977-1998.”
Journal of the American Medical Association 289,
no. 4 (2003): 450-453.
113 Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
Weight Bias: The Need for Public Policy. New
Haven, CT: Yale University, 2008.
132 Putnam, J., J. Allshouse, and L. S. Kantor.
“U.S. per Capita Food Supply Trends: More
Calories, Refined Carbohydrates, and Fats.”
Food Review 25, no. 3 (2002): 1-14.
114 Ibid.
133 Ibid.
115 Neumark-Sztainer, D., M. Story, and T. Harris.
“Beliefs and Attitudes about Obesity among
Teachers and School Health Care Providers
Working with Adolescents.” Journal of Nutrition
Education 31, no. 1 (1999): 3-9.
134 Ibid.
116 O’Brien, K.S., J.A. Hunter, and M. Banks. “Implicit
Anti-Fat Bias in Physical Educators: Physical
Attributes, Ideology, and Socialisation.” International
Journal of Obesity 31, no. 2 (2007): 308-314.
117 Canning, H. and J. Mayer. “Obesity-Its Possible
Effects on College Acceptance.” New England
Journal of Medicine 275 (1966): 1172-1174.
118 Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity.
Weight Bias: The Need for Public Policy. New
Haven, CT: Yale University, 2008.
119 Ibid.
120 Ibid.
135 Ibid.
136 Ibid.
137 Cleveland, L. National Food Consumption Survey,
1977-78. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department
of Agriculture, 1979.
138 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Health Statistics. “DHHSUSDA Dietary Survey Integration - What We Eat in
America.” U.S. Department of Health and Human
Services, http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/
nhanes/faqs.htm (accessed April 18, 2008).
139 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
National Center for Health Statistics. Health,
United States, 2007: With Chartbook on Trends in the
Health of Americans. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.
131
140 Ibid.
141 Segal, D. “Objects on Your Plate May Be
Smaller Than They Appear.” The Washington
Post, April 13, 2008.
142 Pollan, M. “Supersize Me Organically.” The New
Farm. http://www.newfarm.org/features/2005/
0805/pollen/index2_print.shtml. (accessed
May 22, 2008).
143 Ibid.
144 Martin, A. “Will Diners Swallow This?” The
New York Times, March 25, 2007.
145 Ibid.
146 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention, National Center for Health
Statistics. “Calorie Consumption on the Rise
in United States, Particularly Among Women.”
News Release, February 5, 2004.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/PRESSROOM/04ne
ws/calorie.htm (accessed May 22, 2008).
147 Martin, A. “Will Diners Swallow This?” The
New York Times, March 25, 2007.
148 Ibid.
149 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Preventing Obesity and Chronic Diseases
Through Good Nutrition and Physical Activity.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/publications/
factsheets/Prevention/obesity.htm. (accessed
April 14, 2008).
150 Ibid.
151 Rosen, B. and L. Barrington. Weights & Measures:
What Employers Should Know about Obesity. New
York, NY: The Conference Board, April 2008.
152 Ibid.
153 Ostbye, T., J. M. Dement, and K. M. Krause.
“Obesity and Workers’ Compensation: Results
from the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance
System.” Archives of Internal Medicine 167, no. 8
(2007): 766-773.
154 The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the
American Stroke Association, and the
American Heart Association. A Nation at Risk:
Obesity in the United States, A Statistical Sourcebook.
Dallas, TX: American Heart Association, 2005.
http://www.americanheart.org/downloadable/
heart/1114880987205NationAtRisk.pdf
(accessed April 14, 2008).
155 Pronk, N. P., B. Martinson, R. C. Kessler, A. L.
Beck, G. E. Simon, and P. Wang. “The
Association between Work Performance and
Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and
Obesity.” Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine 46, no. 1 (2004): 19-25.
156 Ostbye, T., J. M. Dement, and K. M. Krause.
“Obesity and Workers’ Compensation: Results
from the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance
System.” Archives of Internal Medicine 167, no. 8
(2007): 766-773.
157 Pronk, N. P., B. Martinson, R. C. Kessler, A. L.
Beck, G. E. Simon, and P. Wang. “The
Association between Work Performance and
Physical Activity, Cardiorespiratory Fitness, and
Obesity.” Journal of Occupational and
Environmental 46, no. 1 (2004): 19-25.
132
158 Aldana, S. G. and N. P. Pronk. “Health Promotion
Programs, Modifiable Health Risks, and
Employee Absenteeism.” Journal of Occupational
and Environmental 43, no. 1 (2001): 36-46.
159 Gordian Health Solutions. Managing the
Obesity Problem: A Case Study with Measurable
Results. Nashville, TN: Gordian Health
Solutions, 2007.
160 Wang, F., T. McDonald, L. J. Champagne, and
D. W. Edington. “Relationship of Body Mass
Index and Physical Activity to Health Care Costs
among Employees.” Journal of Occupational and
Environmental Medicine 46, no. 5 (2004): 428-436.
161 Burton, W. N., C. Y. Chen, A. B. Schultz, and D.
W. Edington. “The Economic Costs Associated
with Body Mass Index in a Workplace.” Journal
of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 40,
no. 9 (1998): 786-792.
162 Xiang, H., G. A. Smith, J. R. Wilkins, G. Chen,
S. G. Hostetler, and L. Stallones. “Obesity and
Risk of Nonfatal Unintentional Injuries.”
American Journal of Preventive Medicine 29, no. 1
(2005): 41-45.
163 Ostbye, T., J. M. Dement, and K. M. Krause.
“Obesity and Workers’ Compensation: Results
from the Duke Health and Safety Surveillance
System.” Archives of Internal Medicine 167, no. 8
(2007): 766-773.
164 Ibid.
165 Berger, E. “Emergency Departments Shoulder
Challenges of Providing Care, Preserving
Dignity for the ‘Super Obese.’” Annals of
Emergency Medicine 50, no. 4 (2007): 443-445.
166 Zezima, K. “Increasing Obesity Requires New
Ambulance Equipment.” The New York Times,
April 8, 2008.
167 Ibid.
168 Berger, E. “Emergency Departments Shoulder
Challenges of Providing Care, Preserving
Dignity for the ‘Super Obese.’” Annals of
Emergency Medicine 50, no. 4 (2007): 443-445.
169 Foreman, C.T. Remarks made as moderator of
the panel “Changing the Food Environment,”
part of the Transatlantic Public Policy
Approaches to Tackling Obesity and DietRelated Disease conference held in
Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2008.
170 Lyons, A.A., J. Park, and C. H. Nelson. “Food
Insecurity and Obesity: A Comparison of SelfReported and Measured Height and Weight.”
American Journal of Public Health 98, no. 4
(2008): 751-757.
171 Monsivais, P., and A. Drewnowski. “The Rising
Cost of Low-Energy-Density Foods.” Journal of
the American Dietetic Association 107, no. 12
(2007): 2017-2076.
172 Ibid.
173 Lubrano, A. “Food Costs Likely to Boost Obesity
in Poor.” Philadelphia Inquirer, May 6, 2008.
174 K. Downey. “Hunger Pains: As Economy Slows,
Charities Face Tall Order to Feed Needy.” The
Washington Post, B01, April 8, 2008.
175 Ibid.
176 Booth, M., C. Chirico, B. Edwards, and K.
Gramp. Monthly Budget Review Fiscal Year 2008: A
Congressional Budget Office Analysis. Washington,
D.C.: Congressional Budget Office, 2008,
http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/90xx/doc9023/03
-2008-MBR.pdf (accessed April 16, 2008).
177 Eckholm, E. “As Jobs Vanish and Prices Rise,
Food Stamp Use Nears Record.” The New York
Times, March 31, 2008.
178 Food and Nutrition Service. “Women, Infants,
and Children.” U.S. Department of Agriculture.
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/ (accessed April
16, 2008).
179 Parham, P. Written Testimony of Penny Parham,
Administrative Director, Department of Food and
Nutrition, Miami-Dade County, Florida, Public
Schools Before the Committee on Education and Labor
United States House of Representatives. Miami, FL:
Miami-Dade County Public Schools, March 4,
2008. http://edlabor.house.gov/testimony/
2008-03-04-PennyParham.pdf
180 Ibid.
181 Glod, M. “Schools Get a Lesson in Lunch Line
Economics: Food Costs Unravel Nutrition Initiatives.” The Washington Post, A01, April 14, 2008.
182 Hecht, K. Testimony before the Committee on
Education and Labor, House of Representatives. San
Francisco, CA: California Food Policy Advocates,
2008, http://edlabor.house.gov/testimony/
2008-03-04-KennethHecht.pdf (accessed April
16, 2008).
183 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“CDC’s State Based Nutrition and Physical Activity
Program to Prevent Obesity and other Chronic
Diseases.” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/
dnpa/obesity/state_programs/index.htm.
(accessed April 15, 2008).
184 Ibid.
185 Utah Department of Health, Bureau of Health
Promotion. Tipping the Scales Toward a Healthier
Population: The Utah Blueprint to Promote Healthy
Weight for Children, Youth, and Adults. Salt Lake
City, UT: Utah Department of Health, 2006.
http://health.utah.gov/obesity/docs/Blueprin
t.pdf. (accessed April 9, 2008).
186 Arkansas Department of Health. Changing the
Culture of Health in Arkansas: A Coordinated
Approach to Health Promotion and Prevention of
Chronic Diseases and Related Complications. Little
Rock, AR: Arkansas Department of Health, 2005.
http://www.healthyarkansas.com/disease/chroni
c_disease_plan2006.pdf. (accessed April 3, 2008).
187 Veugelers, P.J. and A.L. Fitzgerald.
“Effectiveness of School Programs in
Preventing Childhood Obesity: A Multilevel
Comparison.” American Journal of Public Health
95, no. 3 (2005): 432-435.
188 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Incorporating the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for
Americans into School Meals. SP 04-2008.
Washington, D.C.: USDA, 2007.
189 Ibid.
190 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
Nutrition Service, Office of Research,
Nutrition and Analysis. School Nutrition Dietary
Assessment Study-III, Vol. I: School Foodservice,
School Food Environment, and Meals Offered and
Served. Alexandria, VA: USDA, 2007.
191 Wharton, C.M., M. Long, and M.B. Schwartz.
“Changing Nutrition Standards in Schools: The
Emerging Impact on School Revenue.” Journal
of School Health 78, no. 5 (2008): 245-252.
192 Pennsylvania Department of Education, Division
of Food and Nutrition. Nutrition Standards for
Competitive Foods in Pennsylvania Schools for the School
Nutrition Incentive. Harrisburg, PA: Pennsylvania
Department of Education, July 27, 2007.
http://www.pde.state.pa.us/food_nutrition/lib/f
ood_nutrition/nutrition_guidelines_r_3_final.pdf (accessed July 23, 2008).
193 Wharton, C.M., M. Long, and M.B. Schwartz.
“Changing Nutrition Standards in Schools: The
Emerging Impact on School Revenue.” Journal
of School Health 78, no. 5 (2008): 245-252.
194 Ibid.
195 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
Nutrition Service, Office of Research,
Nutrition and Analysis. School Nutrition Dietary
Assessment Study-III, Vol. I: School Foodservice,
School Food Environment, and Meals Offered and
Served. Alexandria, VA: USDA, 2007.
196 Ibid.
197 Finkelstein, D.M., E.L. Hill, and R.C. Whitaker.
“School Food Environments and Policies in
U.S. Public Schools.” Pediatrics 122, no. 1
(2008): e251-e259. (E-pub ahead of print.)
198 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
Nutrition Service. Foods Sold in Competition with
USDA School Meal Programs: A Report to Congress.
Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
Agriculture, 2001. http://www.fns.usda.gov/
cnd/Lunch/CompetitiveFoods/report_congress
.htm (accessed April 25, 2008).
199 Ibid.
200 U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).
School Meal Programs: Competitive Foods Are Widely
Available and Generate Substantial Revenues for
Schools. Washington, D.C.: GAO, 2005.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05563.pdf
(accessed May 28, 2008).
201 Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI). State School Foods Report Card 2007.
Washington, D.C.: CSPI, 2007.
202 Institute of Medicine. Nutrition Standards for
Foods in Schools: Leading the Way Toward Healthier
Youth. Washington, D.C.: National Academies
Press, 2007.
203 Wharton, C.M., M. Long, and M.B. Schwartz.
“Changing Nutrition Standards in Schools: The
Emerging Impact on School Revenue.” Journal
of School Health 78, no. 5 (2008): 245-252.
204 Ibid.
205 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
206 Menschik, D., S. Ahmed, M. H. Alexander, and
R.W. Blum. “Adolescent Physical Activities as
Predictors of Young Adult Weight.” Archives of
Pediatrics Adolescent Medicine 162, no. 1 (2008):
29-33.
207 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
208 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Guidelines for School and Community
Programs to Promote Lifelong Physical Activity
Among Young People.” MMWR Recommendations
and Reports 46, no. RR-6 (1997): 1-36.
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml
/00046823.htm (accessed May 5, 2008).
209 American Academy of Pediatrics, Committee of
Sports Medicine and Fitness, and Committee on
School Health. “Physical Fitness and Activity in
Schools.” Pediatrics 105, no. 5 (2000): 1156-1157.
133
210 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
-- United States, 2007.” Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
211 Field, T., M. Diego, and C. E. Sanders.
“Exercise is Positively Related to Adolescents’
Relationships and Academics.” Adolescence 36,
no. 141 (2001): 105-110.
212 Lee, S.M., C.R. Burgeson, J.E. Fulton, and C.G.
Spain. “Physical Education and Physical
Activity: Results From the School Health
Policies and Programs Study 2006.” Journal of
School Health 77, no. 8 (2007): 435-463.
213 National Association for Sport and Physical
Education (NASPE). What Constitutes a Quality
Physical Education Program? Reston, VA:
NASPE, 2003.
214 Hillman, C. H., K. I. Erickson, and A. F. Kramer.
“Be Smart, Exercise Your Heart: Exercise Effects
on Brain and Cognition.” Nature Reviews
Neuroscience 9, no. 1 (2008): 58-65.
215 Shephard, R. J. “Response of Brain, Liver,
Kidney, and Other Organs and Tissues to
Regular Physical Activity.” Chap. 8, In Physical
Activity and Health, edited by C. Bouchard, S.
N. Blair and W. L. Haskell, 127-140.
Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, Inc., 2007.
228 Foster, G. D., S. Sherman, K. E. Borradaile, et
al. “A Policy-Based School Intervention to
Prevent Overweight and Obesity.” Pediatrics
121, no. 4 (2008): e794-802.
229 This assessment does not include a comprehensive review of all food tax policies in all
states. Some states with a general food tax
that covers “junk food” may not be included
in this evaluation.
230 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
“CSPI to Urge Taxes on Junk Foods to Fund
Health Campaigns.” News Release, May 25,
2000. http://www.cspinet.org/new/tax_
junkfood.html (accessed April 25, 2008).
231 Finkelstein, E. A. and L. Zuckerman. The
Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us
Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It.
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.
232 Brownell, K. D. “The Chronicling of Obesity:
Growing Awareness of its Social, Economic,
and Political Contexts.” Journal of Health Politics,
Policy and Law 30, no. 5 (2005): 955-964.
233 Jacobson, M.H. and K.D. Brownell. “Small
Taxes on Soft Drinks and Snack Foods to
Promote Health.” American Journal of Public
Health 90, no. 6 (2000): 854-857.
216 Shephard, R. J. “Habitual Physical Activity and
Academic Performance.” Nutrition Reviews 54,
no. 4, Pt 2 (1996): S32-6.
234 Mississippi Health Advocacy Program (MHAP).
Removing the Grocery Tax on Healthy Foods as a
Public Health Policy. Jackson, MS: MHAP, 2007.
217 Trost, S.G. Physical Education, Physical Activity
and Academic Performance: Research Brief. San
Diego, CA: Active Living Research, Robert
Wood Johnson Foundation, 2007.
235 Monsivais, P., and A. Drewnowski. “The Rising
Cost of Low-Energy-Density Foods.” Journal of the
American Dietetic Association 107, no. 12 (2007):
2017-2076.
218 Ibid
219 Carlson, S. A., J. E. Fulton, S. M. Lee, et al.
“Physical Education and Academic Achievement
in Elementary School: Data from the Early
Childhood Longitudinal Study.” American
Journal of Public Health 98, no. 4 (2008): 721-727.
236 The American Medical Association. “AMA
Adopts Policies to Promote Healthier Food
Options to Fight Obesity in America.” News
Release, June 27, 2007. http://www.amaassn.org/ama/pub/category/17768.html
(accessed May 27, 2008).
220 Shephard, R. J. “Habitual Physical Activity and
Academic Performance.” Nutrition Reviews 54,
no. 4, Pt 2 (1996): S32-6.
237 National Restaurant Association. 2007 State
Legislative Session Summary. Washington, D.C.:
National Restaurant Association, 2007.
221 Castelli, D., C.H. Hillman, S.M. Buck, and H.E.
Erwin. “Physical Fitness and Academic
Achievement in Third- and Fifth-Grade
Students.” Journal of Sport and Exercise
Psychology 29, no. 2 (2007): 239-252.
238 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Nutrition Labeling in Chain Restaurants -- State and
Local Bills/Regulations - 2007-2008. Washington,
D.C.: CSPI, 2008. http://www.cspinet.org/
nutritionpolicy/MenuLabelingBills20072008.pdf (accessed May 27, 2008).
222 Nelson, M.C., and P. Gordon-Larsen. “Physical
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Associated with Selected Adolescent Health Risk
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223 Trost, S.G. Physical Education, Physical Activity
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224 Coe, D.P., J.M. Pivarnik, C.J. Womack, M.J.
Reeves, and R.M. Malina. “Effect of Physical
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225 CARDIAC WV Project. “Methods.” CARDIAC
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226 The Associated Press. “Screening Shows
Obesity Down Among W. Va. Children.” The
Associated Press, May 22, 2008.
134
227 Ibid.
239 Ibid.
240 The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. A
Case Study of California’s Menu Labeling Legislation.
New Haven, CT: Yale University, 2008.
http://www.yaleruddcenter.org/what/policy/pdf
s/CaliforniaSB120MenuLabelCaseStudy.pdf
(accessed May 27, 2008).
241 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Nutrition Labeling in Chain Restaurants -- State and
Local Bills/Regulations - 2007-2008. Washington,
D.C.: CSPI, 2008. http://www.cspinet.org/
nutritionpolicy/MenuLabelingBills2007-2008.pdf
(accessed May 27, 2008).
242 Arizona Department of Health Services. “Arizona
Smart Choice Program - Criteria for Approved
Menu Items.” Arizona Department of Health
Services. http://www.azsmartchoice.com/Criteria
AppovMenu.htm (accessed May 27, 2008).
243 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
Anyone’s Guess. The Need for Nutrition Labeling at
Fast-Food and Other Chain Restaurants.
Washington, D.C.: CSPI, 2003.
http://www.cspinet.org/restaurantreport.pdf
(accessed May 27, 2008).
244 National Restaurant Association. “House Vote to
Prevent Frivolous Lawsuits Against Restaurants,
Food Manufacturers: Just Plain Common
Sense.” Press Release, March 10, 2004.
http://www.restaurant.org/pressroom/print/in
dex.cfm?ID=833 (accessed April 25, 2008).
245 Hulse, C. “Vote in House Offers a Shield in
Obesity Suits.” New York Times, March 11, 2004.
246 Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
“‘Big Food’ to Win Special Protection in House
of Representatives.” News Release, March 10,
2004. http://www.cspinet.org/new/
200403102.html (accessed April 25, 2008).
247 109th Congress. Healthy Places Act of 2007.
S.1067. 2nd sess. (March 29, 2007) and 109th
Congress. Healthy Places Act of 2007. H.R. 398.
2nd sess. (February 2, 2007).
248 McCann, B. and R. Ewing. Measuring the Health
Effects of Sprawl: A National Analysis of Physical
Activity, Obesity, and Chronic Disease. Washington,
D.C.: Smart Growth America and the Surface
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249 Prevention Institute. Improving the Nutrition and
Physical Activity Environment in California.
Oakland, CA: Prevention Institute, 2002.
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258 Ewing R., Forinash C., and Schroeer W. “Neighborhood Schools and Sidewalk Connections:
What Are the Impacts on Travel Mode Choice
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rnews237environment.pdf (April 30, 2008).
259 Staunton, C.E., D. Hubsmith, and W. Kallins.
“Promoting Safe Walking and Biking to School:
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of Public Health 93, no. 9 (2003): 1431-1434.
260 Patch, D. “Three Communities Get $422,400
in State Grants for Sidewalks.” Toledo Blade,
January 23, 2008.
261 Wisniewski, M. “Feds Foot Bill So Kids Can Walk
to School.” The Chicago Sun-Times, March 7, 2008.
262 California Department of Transportation.
“Caltrans Awards $52 Million in Safe Routes to
School Funding.” Press Release, March 18, 2008.
http://www.dot.ca.gov/hq/paffairs/news/pressr
el/08pr4.htm (accessed May 2, 2008).
263 “North Coast Communities Receive Safe Routes
to School Funding.” The Eureka Reporter, March
29, 2008, http://www.eurekareporter.com/
article/080329-communities-get-safe-routes-toschool-funding (accessed May 2, 2008).
264 For example, a law may fix a standard or direct
an administrative agency to adopt one or a
potential range of standards through an
administrative process.
265 Cleveland Clinic. “Laparoscopic Weight Loss
Surgery.” http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/
laparoscopic_surgery/hic_laparoscopic_weig
ht_loss_surgery.aspx (accessed July 2, 2008).
250 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Healthy People 2010. 2nd Edition. Washington,
D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 2000.
266 Newswise. “Insurance Coverage for Obesity is
a Model for the Nation.”
http://www.newswise.com/p/articles/view/50
7650. (accessed July 2, 2008).
251 McDonald, N. C. “Active Transportation to
School: Trends among U.S. Schoolchildren,
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Medicine 32, no. 6 (2007): 509-516.
267 Mant, D. “Effectiveness of Dietary Intervention
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252 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 51, no. 32
(2002): 701-704.
253 Powell, K. E., L. Martin, and P. P. Chowdhury.
“Places to Walk: Convenience and Regular
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254 Giles-Corti, B. and R. J. Donovan. “The
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255 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Grant Results:
Researchers Review State Policies on Promoting
Walking and Biking - Identify Five with Greatest
Potential to Work. Princeton, NJ: RWJF, 2005,
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(accessed April 10, 2008).
256 110th Congress. Complete Streets Act of 2008. S.
2686. 2nd sess. (March 3, 2008).
257 McDonald, N. C. “Active Transportation to
School: Trends among U.S. Schoolchildren,
1969-2001.” American Journal of Preventive
Medicine 32, no. 6 (2007): 509-516.
268 Newswise. “Insurance Coverage for Obesity is
a Model for the Nation.”
http://www.newswise.com/p/articles/view/50
7650. (accessed July 2, 2008).
269 Ibid.
270 Heubeck, E. “Reimbursement Offers Hope for
More Obesity Counseling: New Pay Programs/
AMA Guidelines Could Fuel the Fight Against
Pediatric Obesity. DOC News 4, no. 9 (September
2007). http://docnews.diabetesjournals.org/
cgi/content/full/4/9/8 (accessed July 2, 2008).
271 Ibid.
272 Ibid.
273 Goldfarb, B. “Medicare Issues Bariatric Surgery
Policy Guidelines.” DOC News, May 2006.
http://docnews.diabetesjournals.org/cgi/re
print/3/5/1-a.pdf (accessed July 2, 2008).
274 Ibid.
275 Barlow, S.E. and the Expert Committee.
“Expert Committee Recommendations
Regarding the Prevention, Assessment, and
Treatment of Child and Adolescent
Overweight and Obesity: Summary Report.”
Pediatrics 120, Suppl 4 (2007): S164-S192.
135
276 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
“HHS Announces Revised Medicare Obesity
Coverage Policy.” News Release, July 15, 2004.
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2004pres/2004
0715.html (accessed July 14, 2008).
277 StateHealthFacts.org. “Total Medicaid
Enrollment, FY2005.” Kaiser Family Foundation.
http://statehealthfacts.org/comparemaptable.
jsp?ind=198&cat=4 (accessed July 14, 2008).
292 Richardson, J. Child Nutrition and WIC Programs:
Background and Recent Funding. Washington, D.C.:
Congressional Research Service, The Library of
Congress, 2006.
293 Ibid.
294 U.S. Department of Agriculture. Farm Bill: Title
IV Nutrition. Washington, D.C.: USDA, 2007.
278 Doering, C. “USDA Revises Food Program for
Women and Children.” Reuters, December 6,
2007.
295 Ibid.
279 Institute of Medicine. WIC Food Packages: Time
for a Change. Washington, D.C.: The National
Academies Press, 2005.
296 Sisson, A. “Fruit and Vegetable Consumption
by Low-Income Americans.” Nutrition Noteworthy
5, no. 1 (2002): 1-7.
280 Daniels, P., D. Whitford, A. Bartholomew and P.
Mitchell. “The New WIC Food Packages.”
Presentation at the National WIC Association’s
18th Annual Washington Leadership Conference
and WIC Food Package Implementation Summit.
Washington, D.C., March 11, 2008.
297 Cotterill, R.W. and A.W. Franklin. The Urban
Grocery Store Gap. Hartford, CT: Storrs Food
Marketing Policy Center, University of
Connecticut, 1995.
281 Ibid.
282 Information provided to TFAH by the National
WIC Association during a meeting at TFAH
offices on April 17, 2008.
283 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Breastfeeding Practices - Results
from the National Immunization Survey.” U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services.
http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/data/NIS_
data/data_2004.htm (accessed May 2, 2008).
284 Womenshealth.gov. “Health Risks of Not
Breastfeeding.” U.S. Department of Health and
Human Services. http://www.4woman.gov/
Breastfeeding/index.cfm?page=519 (accessed
May 2, 2008).
285 United States Department of Agriculture.
(USDA) “Food Stamp Program Participation and
Costs.” USDA. http://www.fns.usda.gov/pd/
fssummar.htm (May 9, 2008).
298 Morris, P. M. Higher Prices, Fewer Choices: Shopping
for Food in Rural America. Washington, D.C.:
Public Voice for Food and Health Policy, 1990.
299 Putnam, J., J. Allshouse, and L.S. Kantor. “U.S.
Per Capita Food Supply Trends: More Calories,
Refined Carbohydrates, and Fats.” Food Review
25, no. 3 (2002): 1-14.
300 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Food
without Thought: How U.S. Farm Policy Contributes
to Obesity. Minneapolis, MN: Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2006.
301 Richardson, J. Child Nutrition and WIC
Legislation in the 108th and 109th Congresses.
Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research
Service, The Library of Congress, 2006.
302 National Coalition for Promoting Physical
Activity. Letter to Congress Concerning No Child
Left Behind Legislation. June 12, 2007.
303 Jeffrey, R.W. and J. Utter. “The Changing
Environment and Population Obesity in the
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12S-22S.
286 Baum, C. The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity.
Washington, D.C.: Economic Research Service,
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304 Ross, R. and I. Janssen. “Physical Activity,
Fitness, and Obesity.” Chap. 11, In Physical
Activity and Health, edited by C. Bouchard, S.
N. Blair and W. L. Haskell. 1st ed. Vol. 1, 173189. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007.
287 Ver Ploeg, M., L. Mancino, and B.H. Lin. Food
and NutritionAssistance Programs and Obesity: 19762002. Washington, D.C.: Economic Research
Service, USDA, 2007. http://www.ers.usda.gov/
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305 Hedley, A.A., C.L. Ogden, C.L. Johnson, M.D.
Carroll, L.R. Curtin, and K.M. Fegal. “Prevalence
of Overweight and Obesity Among U.S. Children,
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2847-2850.
288 Baum, C. The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity.
Washington, D.C.: Economic Research Service,
United States Department of Agriculture,
September 2007. http://www.ers.usda.gov/
Publications/CCR34/CCR34.pdf (accessed
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289 American Heart Association. “American Heart
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290 Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI). “Policy Options to Promote Nutrition
and Activity.” CSPI. http://www.cspinet.org/
nutritionpolicy/policy_options.html
136
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291 Baum, C. The Effects of Food Stamps on Obesity.
Washington, D.C.: Economic Research Service,
United States Department of Agriculture,
306 Haskell, W. L., S. N. Blair, and C. Bouchard.
“An Integrated View of Physical Activity, Fitness
and Health.” Chap. 23, In Physical Activity and
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W. L. Haskell. Vol. 1, 359-374. Champaign, IL:
Human Kinetics, 2007.
307 U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of
Transportation Statistics. National Survey of
Pedestrian and Bicyclist Attitudes and Behaviors
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Department of Transportation, 2002.
308 Girl Scouts. “Girl Scouts and Congresswoman
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309 GovTrack.us. H.R. 2677—110th Congress (2007):
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=h110-2677&tab=summar (accessed Jun 3, 2008).
325 Katzmarzyk, P.T. and I. Janssen. “The Economic
Costs Associated with Physical Inactivity and
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310 GovTrack.us. “H.R. 3895—110th Congress (2007):
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=h110-3895&tab=summary (accessed Apr 22, 2008)
326 Pescatello, L.S., B.A. Franklin, R. Fagard, W.B.
Farquhar, G.A. Kelley, and C.A. Ray.
“American College of Sports Medicine Position
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311 110th Congress. Complete Streets Act of 2008. S.
2686. 2nd sess. (March 3, 2008).
312 Note: Some U.S. Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention suggest the use of the term
“cooperative agreement” and others suggest
the use of the term “grant” for these programs.
313 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“CDC’s State-Based Nutrition and Physical
Activity Program to Prevent Obesity and Other
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and Human Services. http://www.cdc.gov/
nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/state_programs/index.h
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314 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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Department of Health and Human Services.
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315 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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316 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“FY 2009 Budget Submission Centers For Disease
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Table.” U.S. Department of Health and Human
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317 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
318 National Center for Health Statistics. Health,
United States, 2006 with Chartbook on Trends in the
Health of Americans. Hyattsville, MD: U.S.
Government Printing Office, 2006.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus06.pdf
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319 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
320 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
327 Alcazar, O., R.C. Ho, and L.J. Goodyear. “Physical
Activity, Fitness and Diabetes Mellitus.” Chap. 21,
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Bouchard, S. N. Blair and W. L. Haskell. Vol. 1,
191-204. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2007.
328 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
329 Ibid.
330 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
331 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up?
Washington, D.C.: The National Academies
Press, 2007.
332 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
333 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development. Interim Survey of Children.
Washington, D.C.: U.D. Department of Housing
and Urban Development, 2001.
http://www.huduser.org/
Research/IxIchildF.pdf (accessed April 30, 2008).
334 Abt Associates Inc. and the National Bureau of
Economic Research. Moving to Opportunity Interim
Impacts Evaluation. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and
Research, 2003.
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335 Jones, B.H., M.W. Bovee, and J.J. Knapik.
“Associations among Body Composition,
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321 U.S. Department of Health and Human
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336 Hsu, L.L., R.L. Nevin, S.K. Tobler, and M.V.
Rubertone. “Trends in Overweight and
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322 Office of the Surgeon General. The Surgeon
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337 Basu, S. “Military Not Immune From Obesity
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323 Perreault, L., Y. Ma, S. Dagogo-Jack, et al. “Sex
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338 Hoffman, M. “55 Percent of Airmen
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force_fat_AF_042808w/ (accessed April 30, 2008).
324 Kohl, H.W. “Physical Activity and
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339 Cable News Network. “Discharged Servicemen
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137
340 U.S. Department of Defense PharmacoEconomic
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http://www.pec.ha.osd.mil/Updates/97%20PDF
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341 The average cost of recruiting and training a
replacement enlisted member were adjusted
for inflation for 2008 based on the change in
the Consumer Price Index (CPI) from fourth
quarter 2006 to fourth quarter 2007. TFAH
used the Consumer Price Index calculation,
which is the inflation measure used by the U.S.
Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor
Statistics. http://www.bls.gov/home.htm
(accessed June 4, 2008).
342 Dall, T.M., Y. Zhang, Y.J. Chen, et al. “Cost Associated with Being Overweight and with Obesity,
High Alcohol Consumption, and Tobacco Use
within the Military Health System’s TRICARE
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343 Freking, K. “Government to Unveil Fitness Test
for Adults.” The Associated Press, May 14, 2008.
344 Ibid.
345 Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI). “Why It’s Hard to Eat Well and Be
Active in America Today.” CSPI.
http://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/food_
advertising.html (accessed May 14, 2008).
346 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
347 Ibid.
348 National Governors Association. Healthy
America: Wellness Where We Live, Work and Learn.
Call to Action: An Agenda for America’s Governors.
Washington, D.C.: National Governors
Association, 2006. http://www.nga.org/Files/
pdf/0602HEALTHYAMCALL.PDF (accessed
May 13, 2008).
349 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
350 National Governors Association. Creating
Healthy States: Actions for Governors. Washington,
D.C.: National Governors Association, 2006.
http://www.nga.org/Files/pdf/0602CREATIN
GHEALTHYSTATESACTIONS.PDF (accessed
May 13, 2008.)
351 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
352 Ewing, R. and B. McCann. Measuring the Health
Effects of Sprawl: A National Analysis of Physical
Activity, Obesity and Chronic Disease. Smart Growth
America, Washington D.C., 2003.
http://www.smart-growthamerica.org/report/
HealthSprawl8.03.pdf. (May 1, 2008).
353 California Center for Public Health Advocacy,
PolicyLink, and the UCLA Center for Health
Policy Research. Designed for Disease: The Link
Between Local Food Environments and Obesity and
Diabetes. Davis, CA: California Center for
Public Health Advocacy, 2008.
354 Sallis, J. F. and K. Glanz. “The Role of Built
Environments in Physical Activity, Eating, and
Obesity in Childhood.” The Future of Children
16, no. 1 (2006): 89-108.
138
355 Ewing, R. and B. McCann. Measuring the Health
Effects of Sprawl: A National Analysis of Physical
Activity, Obesity and Chronic Disease. Smart
Growth America, Washington D.C., 2003.
http://www.smart-growthamerica.org/report/
HealthSprawl8.03.pdf. (May 1, 2008).
356 Simon, P., C.J. Jarosz, T. Kuo, and J.E. Fielding.
Menu Labeling as a Potential Strategy for
Combating the Obesity Epidemic: A Health Impact
Assessment. Los Angeles, CA: Los Angeles
County Department of Public Health, 2008.
357 New York City Department of Health and Mental
Hygiene. “Board of Health Votes to Require
Chain Restaurants to Display Calorie Information
in New York City.” Press Release, January 22,
2008. http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/
pr2008/pr008-08.shtml (accessed May 1, 2008).
358 The Associated Press. “New York Begins Citing
Restaurants That Lack Calorie Counts on
Menus.” The Associated Press, May 5, 2008.
359 Saul, S. “Conflict on the Menu.” The New York
Times, February 16, 2008.
360 Active Living by Design. “Active Seattle:
Community Partnership.” Robert Wood
Johnson Foundation.
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blic_home&dept_id=121 (accessed June 3, 2008).
361 Moore, L. V. and A. V. Diez Roux. “Associations
of Neighborhood Characteristics with the
Location and Type of Food Stores.” American
Journal of Public Health 96, no. 2 (2006): 325-331.
362 Giang, T., A. Karpyn, H. Burton Laurison, A.
Hiller, and R.D. Perry. “Closing the Grocery
Gap in Underserved Communities: The
Creation of the Pennsylvania Fresh Food
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Management Practice 14, no. 3 (2008): 272-279.
363 Ibid.
364 Baker, E. A., M. Schootman, E. Barnidge, and C.
Kelly. “The Role of Race and Poverty in Access to
Foods that Enable Individuals to Adhere to
Dietary Guidelines.” Preventing Chronic Disease 3,
no. 3 (2006): A76.
365 Cubbin, C. and M.A. Winkleby. “Food
Availability, Personal Constraints, and
Community Resources.” Journal of Epidemiology
and Community Health 61, no. 11 (2007): 932.
366 The Reinvestment Fund. “Bringing Supermarkets to Underserved Communities.” TRF.
http://www.trfund.com/stories/supermarkets.ht
ml (accessed May 5, 2008).
367 Shulman, R. “Groceries Grow Elusive For
Many in New York City, With Rents Soaring,
Stores Are Being Demolished for Condos.”
The Washington Post, February 19, 2008.
368 Rivera, R. “Council Vote for Good Health May
Weaken Business at Groceries in Poor Neighborhoods.” The New York Times, February 28, 2008.
369 New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee.
Building Healthy Communities: Expanding Access to
Fresh Food Retail. New Orleans, LA: New Orleans
Food Policy Advisory Committee, 2007.
http://www.no-hunger.org/news/FPAC-pr/
REPORT%20FINAL.pdf (accessed May 5, 2008).
370 Troeh, E. “Food Shopping a Challenge in New
Orleans.” National Public Radio, March 28, 2007.
371 Ibid.
372 Institute of Medicine. Preventing Childhood
Obesity: Health in the Balance. Washington, D.C.:
The National Academies Press, 2005.
373 Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. Keeping
America Healthy: A Guide to Successful Programs.
Washington, D.C. June 2008.
374 Story, M. K.M. Kaphingst, and S. French. “The
Role of Schools in Obesity Prevention.” The
Future of Children, 16, no. 1 (2006): 1-34.
392 Consumers Union. Out of Balance: Marketing of
Soda, Candy, Snacks and Fast Foods Drowns Out
Healthful Messages. San Francisco, CA:
Consumers Union, September 2005.
393 Center for Science in the Public Interest
(CSPI). “Why It’s Hard to Eat Well and Be
Active in America Today.” CSPI.
http://www.cspinet.org/nutritionpolicy/food_
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375 Gleason, P., C. Suitor, and U.S. Food and
Nutrition Service. Children’s Diets in the Mid1990s: Dietary Intake and Its Relationship with School
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394 Crain Communications Inc. and the Ad Age
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376 Brescoll, V.L., R. Kersh, and K.D. Brownell.
“Assessing the Feasibility and Impact of
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396 Crain Communications Inc. and the Ad Age
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377 Nihiser, A.J., S.M. Lee, H. Wechsler, et al. “Body
Mass Index Measurement in Schools.” The
Journal of School Health 77, no. 10 (2007):651-671.
378 Ibid.
379 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
380 Ibid.
381 Noguchi, Y. “Costs of Obesity Add to Business
Overhead.” National Public Radio, May 23, 2008.
382 Hertz, R.P., A.N. Unger, M. McDonald, M.B.
Lustik, and J. Biddulph-Krentar. “The Impact of
Obesity on Work Limitations and Cardiovascular
Risk Factors in the U.S. Workforce.” Journal of
Occupational and Environmental Medicine 46, no.
12 (2004): 1196-1203.
383 Institute of Medicine. Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2007.
384 American Academy of Pediatrics. “Policy
Statement: Breastfeeding and the Use of Human
Milk.” Pediatrics 115, no. 2 (2005): 496-506.
385 Ibid.
386 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Healthy People 2010. 2nd ed. With Understanding
and Improving Health and Objectives for Improving
Health. 2 vols. Washington, D.C.: U.S.
Government Printing Office, November 2000.
387 Ryan A.S., W. Zhou, and M.B. Arensberg.
“The Effect of Employment Status on
Breastfeeding in the United States.” Women’s
Health Issues 16, no. 5 (2006): 243-251.
388 National Conference of State Legislatures. “50
State Summary of Breastfeeding Laws - Updated
April 2008.” National Conference of State
Legislatures. http://www.ncsl.org/programs/
health/breast50.htm (accessed May 13, 2008).
395 Institute of Medicine. Food Marketing to Children
and Youth: Threat or Opportunity? Washington,
D.C.: The National Academies Press, 2006, p.5.
397 Hannaford Bros. “What is Guiding Stars?”
Hannaford Bros. http://www.hannaford.com/
Contents/Healthy_Living/Guiding_Stars/index.s
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398 Hannaford Bros. “Grocery Shoppers Are
Following Stars to More Nutritious Choices.”
News Release, September 6, 2007.
399 Ibid.
400 Garson, A. and C.L. Engelhard. “Attacking
Obesity: Lessons from Smoking.” Journal of the
American College of Cardiology 49, no. 16 (2007):
1673-1675.
401 Ibid.
402 Torrey Marshall, M. “Development of 2007 Farm
Bill: Prepared Statement by Maureen Torrey
Marshall to the Committee on Agriculture,
United States House of Representatives.”
Washington, D.C.: United Fresh Produce
Association, June 26, 2006.
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n%20Torrey%20Marshall%202007%20Farm%20
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403 Hamm, M. W. “Linking Sustainable
Agriculture and Public Health: Opportunities
for Realizing Multiple Goals.” Journal of Hunger
and Environmental Nutrition (In Press): 1-14.
404 Ibid.
405 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Food Protection
Plan: An Integrated Strategy for Protecting the Nation’s
Food Supply. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services, 2007.
406 Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Food
without Thought: How U.S. Farm Policy Contributes
to Obesity. Minneapolis, MN: Institute for
Agriculture and Trade Policy, March 2006.
390 Ibid.
407 Green, L. W. and J. M. Ottoson. “From Efficacy
to Effectiveness to Community and Back:
Evidence-Based Practice Vs Practice-Based
Evidence.” Presented at the Conference From
Clinical Trials to Community: The Science Of
Translating Diabetes and Obesity Research,
Bethesda, MD, National Institutes of Health,
January 12-13, 2004, http://www.niddk.nih.gov/
fund/other/Diabetes-Translation/conf-publication.pdf (accessed May 15, 2008).
391 Finkelstein, E. A. and L. Zuckerman. The
Fattening of America: How the Economy Makes Us
Fat, If It Matters, and What to Do About It.
Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2008.
408 Schwartz, M.B. and Brownell, K.D. “Actions
Necessary to Prevent Childhood Obesity:
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Law, Medicine & Ethics 35, no. 1 ( 2007): 78-89.
389 Abdulwadud O.A. and M.E. Snow. “Interventions
in the Workplace to Support Breastfeeding for
Women in Employment.” Cochrane Database
System Review 18, no. 3 (2007):CD006177.
139
409 George Washington Univesity School of Public
Health and Health Services, Department of Health
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of Treatment, and Definitions of Success Impact Obesity
and Weight Management in America. A Research Report
for the STOP Obesity Alliance. Washington, D.C.:
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410 Ogden, C.L., M.D. Carroll, M.A. McDowell,
and K.M. Flegal. Obesity among Adults in the
United States- No Change Since 2003-2004. NCHS
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411 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
-- United States, 2007.” Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
412 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Resources and Services Administration,
Maternal and Child Health Bureau. National
Survey of Children’s Health 2003. Rockville, MD:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
2005, http://www.mchb.hrsa.gov/overweight/
techapp.htm (accessed April 22, 2008).
413 Ogden, C.L., M.D. Carroll, L.R. Curtin, et al.
“Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity in the
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424 Yancey, A.K. and S.K. Kumanyika. “Bridging the
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425 Loukaitou-Sideris, A. “Crime Prevention and
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426 Day, K. “Active Living and Social Justice: Planning for Physical Activity in Low-Income, Black,
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427 Bhattacharya, J., T. DeLeire, S. Heider, and J.
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428 Day, K. “Active Living and Social Justice: Planning for Physical Activity in Low-Income, Black,
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429 Kumanyika, S.K., M.C. Whitt-Glover, T.L. Gary, et
al. “Expanding the Obesity Research Paradigm
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414 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
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430 The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Key Facts:
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415 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Resources and Services Administration,
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432 Neal, D., G. Magwood, C. Jenkins, and C.L.
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416 American Obesity Association. “Obesity in
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433 Levy, B.T. and P.S. Williamson. “Patient Perceptions and Weight Loss of Obese Adults.” The
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417 American Diabetes Association. “Total Prevalence
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431 Ibid.
434 Olden, K. and S.L. White. “Health-Related Disparities: Influence of Environmental Factors.” Medical
Clinics of North America 89, no. 4 (2005): 721-738.
418 Olden, K. and S.L. White. “Health-Related Disparities: Influence of Environmental Factors.” Medical
Clinics of North America 89, no. 4 (2005): 721-738.
435 Kumanyika, S.K., M.C. Whitt-Glover, T.L. Gary, et
al. “Expanding the Obesity Research Paradigm
to Reach African American Communities.”
Preventing Chronic Disease 4, no. 4 (2007).
http://www.cdc.gov/pcd/issues/2007/oct/07_0
067.htm. (accessed June 6, 2008).
419 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Prevalence of Regular Physical
Activity Among Adults —- United States, 2001
and 2005.” Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report
56, no. 46 (2007): 1209-1212.
436 Liu, J., K.J. Bennett, N. Harun, X. Zheng, J.C.
Probst, and R.R. Pate. Overweight and Physical
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420 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. “Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance
-- United States, 2007.” Morbidity and Mortality
Weekly Report 57, no. SS-4 (2008): 1-136.
437 Ibid.
421 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
Health Resources and Services Administration,
Maternal and Child Health Bureau. National Survey
of Children’s Health 2003. Rockville, MD: U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.
422 Kumanyika, S.K., M.C. Whitt-Glover, T.L. Gary, et al.
“Expanding the Obesity Research Paradigm to
Reach African American Communities.” Preventing
Chronic Disease 4, no. 4 (2007). http://www.cdc.gov/
pcd/issues/2007/oct/07_0067.htm.
(accessed
June 6, 2008).
140
423 Ibid.
438 Tudor-Locke, C. J.J. Kronenfeld, S.S. Kim, M.
Benin, and M. Kuby. “A Geographical Comparison
of Prevalence of Overweight School-aged Children:
The National Survey of Children’s Health 2003.”
Pediatrics 120, no. 4 (2007): e1043-1050.
439 Lutfiyya, M.N., M.S. Lipsky, J. Wisdom-Behounek,
and M. Inpanbutr-Martinkus. “Is Rural Residency
a Risk Factor for Overweight and Obesity for U.S.
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440 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Economic
Research Service. Rural Children at a Glance.
Washington, D.C.: USDA, 2005. Available at
www.ers.usda.gov/publications/EIB1/EIB1.pdf.
441 Save the Children. CHANGE for Children in
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Children, 2008. Available at
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442 Morton, L.W., and T.C. Blanchard. Starved for
Access: Life in Rural America’s Food Deserts.
Columbia, MO: Rural Sociological Society, 2007.
Available at http://www.ruralsociology.org/
pubs/RuralRealities/RuralRealities1-4.pdf.
443 Walker, J.N., J.M. Del Rosso, and A.K. Held.
Nutrition and Physical Activity Assessment of
Children in Rural America. Westport, CT: Save
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444 Save the Children. CHANGE for Children in
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445 Valeo, T. “Growing Old, Baby-Boomer Style.”
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446 Leveille, S.G., C.C. Wee, and L.I. Iezzoni. “Trends
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447 Valeo, T. “Growing Old, Baby-Boomer Style.”
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448 Leveille, S.G., C.C. Wee, and L.I. Iezzoni. “Trends
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449 Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.
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450 Kuczmarski, R.J., K.M. Flegal, S.M. Campbell, and
C.L Johnson. “Increasing Prevalence of Overweight among U.S. Adults.” Journal of the American
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451 Daviglus, M.L., K. Liu, L.L Yan, et al. “Relation
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452 National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of
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453 Rotstein, G. “Boomer Health Decline Reported:
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454 Rauscher, M. “Depression, Anxiety Tied to
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455 Ibid.
456 Ibid.
457 Petry, N. M., D. Barry, R. H. Pietrzak, and J. A.
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with Psychiatric Disorders: Results from the
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458 Ibid.
459 Strine, T. W., A. H. Mokdad, S. R. Dube, et al.
“The Association of Depression and Anxiety
with Obesity and Unhealthy Behaviors among
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460 National Institutes of Health. “Stress, Obesity
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461 Kuo, L., J. Kitlinska, J. Tilan, et al.
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on Fat Tissue and Mediates Stress-Induced
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462 Zukowska, Z. “New Science behind Obesity:
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463 Hudson, J., E. Hiripi, H. Pope, and R. Kessler. “The
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464 American Psychiatric Association. Diagnostic
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465 Pull, C. “Binge Eating Disorder.” Current
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466 Mayo Clinic.com. “Binge-eating disorder.” Mayo
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467 World Health Organization (WHO). “Obesity
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468 Ibid.
469 World Health Organization (WHO). “Global
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470 World Health Organization (WHO). “Global
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471 Cross Government Obesity Unit, Department
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472 BBC News. “Q&A: Anti-Obesity Strategy.”
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473 Cross Government Obesity Unit, Department
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141
474 Comments by Tim Lobstein, International
Obesity Taskforce, International Association for
the Study of Obesity, participant in the panel
“Changing the Food Environment,” part of the
Transatlantic Public Policy Approaches to
Tackling Obesity and Diet-Related Disease conference held in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2008.
475 Foresight. Tackling Obesities: Future Choices Summary of Key Messages. London, England:
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476 Comments by Dr. Will Cavendish, Director of
Health and Well-Being, United Kingdom
Department of Health, participant in the panel
“Changing the Food Environment,” part of the
Transatlantic Public Policy Approaches to
Tackling Obesity and Diet-Related Disease conference held in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2008.
477 Cross Government Obesity Unit, Department
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London, England: H.M. Government, 2008.
478 Comments by Dr. Michel Chauliac, Coordinator,
National Nutrition and Health Program, French
Ministry of Health, participant in the panel
“Changing the Food Environment,” part of the
Transatlantic Public Policy Approaches to
Tackling Obesity and Diet-Related Disease conference held in Washington, D.C. on April 8, 2008.
479 Reuters. “Child Obesity Rates Level Off in France.”
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480 StataCorp. Stata Statistical Software: Release 9.
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481 The high blood pressure question is part of a
rotating core of questions which is asked in
alternating years by all states: in this case 2001,
2003, 2005 etc.
482 One can think about this as an upper and lower
bound on the true estimate because it is reasonable to think that some borderline hypertensives
would have answered “yes” in previous years
while others would have answered “no”.
483 For hypertension the 3-year averages were calculated over 2001/2003/2005 and 2003/2005/2007.
484 In all cases, observations with missing values
accounted for less than 5 percent of the total
number of observations.
485 Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department
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486 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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487 Ibid.
488 Ibid.
489 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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142
490 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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491 Committee to Review the WIC Food Packages,
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492 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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493 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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494 Ibid.
495 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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496 Ibid.
497 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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498 U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and
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499 Ibid.
500 U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Center for
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501 TRICARE. “Healthy Choices Initiatives Inside
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502 Department of Defense Education Activity.
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503 Federal Trade Commission. “FTC, HHS Release
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504 Administration on Aging. “You Can.” U.S.
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505 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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506 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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507 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
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509 U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
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510 U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Calories
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511 U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Center
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512 U.S. Department of Health and Human
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514 U.S. Department of Health and Human
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516 Office of the Surgeon General. “About the
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517 U.S. Department of Health and Human
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518 U.S. Department of Health and Human
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519 United States Department of the Interior,
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