Texas is teaming up with the Texas Library Association in the fight against obesity. In August and September 2013, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will distribute resources to 910 Texas public libraries and around 1,100 public schools.

Resources include nutrition and exercise books such as Fueling the Teen Machine and Una Fiesta Saludable/The Healthy Food Party. DVDs will also be available. DVD titles include Sesame Street...

When New York City passed the first menu labeling law in 2008 to combat obesity, it didn’t change the number of calories people consumed, found a 2009 study published in Health Affairs, an academic health policy and research journal. But when restaurants offered lower-calorie meals, people would choose them over higher-calorie fare, a 2011 study published in the British Medical Journal found. That’s what Healthy Fare for Kids, a Chicago-based organization, is trying to promote.

New York City is famous – and infamous – for its policy attempts to curb obesity. News comes this week that the city is unveiling the Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program (FVRx) at two hospitals. Doctors will prescribe a menu of fresh fruits and vegetables and give patients coupons from the city to assist with the purchase of the healthy food.

In Mississippi, the state with the highest rate of childhood obesity, a new report documents a multiyear decline in obesity of more than 13 percent between 2006 and 2011. This comes as good news to what has seemed a relentless, and perhaps irreversible, climb in obesity among American children and adults.

The American Medical Association officially labeled obesity as a disease on Tuesday, June 18th.  The labeling could impact 78 million American adults and 12 million American children that are living with obesity.

Question of the Month ~ CSG Midwest

Childhood obesity rates have tripled over the past three decades, leading to a rise in state efforts to combat the trend. And since children spend much of their day in school, new state laws and regulations have focused on the types of foods and levels of physical activity offered at school.

When Molina Healthcare of Michigan noticed the poor immunization rates in the state’s children, it took action. The company, a leading health care provider for financially vulnerable families, launched “Shots for Shorties” to improve the rates of immunization among African-American children, primarily those from low-income families. The program offers a variety of necessary vaccinations, programs and educational materials full of strategies to increase immunization rates for African-Americans. 

Since 2008, as a condition of doing business, the city of Minneapolis requires corner stores to sell perishable produce. The current requirement is to sell five varieties of fresh produce and for stores that are certified by the Women, Infants and Children program (WIC) 7 varieties and 30 pounds in total stock are required. According to Governing magazine, Minneapolis is the first city to move from incentives to requirements.

Americans continue to add pounds to their weight despite the well-documented association of obesity to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease and even many forms of cancer. In 39 states, adult obesity rates exceeded 25 percent in 2011. More alarming is that a new study projects obesity rates for adults could top more than 50 percent in all but 11 states and the District of Columbia by 2030. Reducing the average body mass index in every state by 5 percent would save between 6.5 percent and 7.8 percent in health care spending in every state, a savings totaling $642 billion nationally by 2030. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, began a conference series that started yesterday titled “Weight of the Nation”.  This conference coincides with a public health HBO project that involves CDC, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation and Kaiser Permanente.

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