Fudge Recognizes Child Obesity Awareness Month

Fudge Recognizes Child Obesity Awareness Month and Works to Combat Epidemic

 

WASHINGTON, DC Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) with original sponsor Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12),and 16 other cosponsors, introduced H.R. 339, which designates September 2011 as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, earlier this year. This resolution has the support of over 30 national organizations that have joined together to combat childhood obesity.

This is the first generation in the history of our nation to be so unhealthy that their lifespan will be shorter than that of their parents. By not raising awareness and taking steps to reduce obesity, we are securing a devastating fate for our young people,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

Over the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, increasing more than fourfold among children ages six to 11. Twenty-three million children and teenagers, or 31%, are obese or overweight, a rate that health experts consider an epidemic. More than 36% of Cleveland teens in the 9th through 12th grades are obese or overweight.

“I first introduced a resolution to recognize September as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in 2010, because of the great need to combat this epidemic and will continue that effort again this year. In Ohio and around the nation during the month of September, parents, schools, and health care providers will promote fitness and nutrition for our kids. However, this effort cannot happen during only one month. It needs to extend to every day of the year, especially in underserved communities. That’s why I also introduced comprehensive legislation that addresses food deserts and issues specific to minority and underserved communities,” said Congresswoman Fudge.

Congresswoman Fudge recently introduced Fit for Life, H.R. 2795, which is a comprehensive approach to addressing the childhood obesity crisis by improving the quality of and access to food, advancing preventative measures, expanding treatment of obesity in children and encouraging physical activity. This bill aims to tackle the lack of supermarkets in underserved communities by creating a program to award grants to local partnerships to establish or enhance existing locations that sell fresh foods in low income communities. It seeks to renovate foreclosed and abandoned properties to create spaces that encourage physical activity in forgotten neighborhoods across the country. Moreover, it expands the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program by amending the National School Lunch Act to include secondary schools, child care centers, and family child care homes, while increasing access to the Summer Food Service Programs for Children.

“By raising awareness as well as addressing ingrained issues that cause obesity in our communities, I believe we can decrease the number of kids who will die younger because of diseases related to obesity and poor health. We can reverse this trend, but we must start now.”