Senate Committee Approves Bill To Provide Grants To Cities, Schools To Address Obesity Issue
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill (S 1172) that would provide federal grants to cities and schools to promote physical activity and provide nutrition classes in an effort to address the obesity issue, the AP/Wall Street Journal reports (AP/Wall Street Journal, 10/30). The Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity Act, proposed by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) in July 2002, would provide $256 million for community development programs and programs to encourage businesses to help employees increase their physical activity. The legislation would provide $125 million to the CDC and state governments for education programs that inform children and teenagers about nutrition and physical activity, $40 million to health clinics that provide services to minority groups disproportionately affected by obesity and $10 million to train health care employees to identify and treat individuals at risk for obesity. The bill also would fund studies to determine the effectiveness of diet plans (California Healthline, 7/31). Frist said, "This bill does not intend to stigmatize those who struggle to control their weight or to demonize any sector of the country by blaming them for this epidemic" of obesity. Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) has introduced a similar bill (HR 716) in the House (AP/Wall Street Journal, 10/30).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.