House Passes Fudge/Granger Resolution to Designate September as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month

WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS –Recognizing the serious threat obesity poses to the health of America’s children, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a resolution designating September 2010 as National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month. Representatives Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) and Kay Granger (TX-12) introduced the measure. The companion resolution, introduced by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillbrand of New York and George Voinovich of Ohio, unanimously passed the Senate in April.

“Since arriving in Congress, I’ve dedicated myself to helping kids live longer and healthier,” said Congresswoman Fudge. Nearly one in three American children are already overweight or obese. A study conducted by University Hospitals in Cleveland found that the rate in Ohio is even higher, close to 36% for children 10 -17. “Unless we work to reverse this epidemic, these 23 million kids will be in danger of becoming the first generation in American history to have shorter life spans than their parents.”

Congresswoman Fudge says dedicating at least one month per year to the crisis will help maximize the impact of programs, activities and campaigns– all aligned with the sole purpose of eradicating childhood obesity.

Rep. Fudge and her colleagues are pleased that First Lady Michelle Obama has also made childhood obesity one of her top priorities.

“Childhood obesity is a public health crisis”, Rep. Granger said. “Children need information and guidance to make informed decisions about food and exercise. Childhood Obesity Awareness Month supports the goals of families, schools, and communities who are working to ensure we raise a healthier generation. If we keep our kids healthy now it will alleviate a major burden on our health care system while giving millions of young people the opportunity to live longer, healthier lives.”

The financial implications of childhood obesity are overwhelming, at $14 billion per year in direct health care costs. The excess pounds on America’s youth also have national security implications, with an estimated 27% of 17 to 24 year olds too overweight to join the military.

H.R. 996 is a bipartisan resolution supported by over 75 national organizations. “With a strong unity of purpose, we can make a difference” Rep. Fudge stated. “I look forward to parents, health care providers, educators, civic leaders and organizations joining the effort to prevent childhood obesity and promote healthier lifestyles. Nothing can be more important than protecting the health and wellbeing of our children for years to come.”