Sending Office: Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton
Please cosponsor H.R. 5322, the Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise Act, which would provide $25 million to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for a coordinated national effort to reverse increasingly sedentary lifestyles and diets
that are high in fat and sugar. Specifically, the bill seeks to provide the first national strategy to combat the overweight and obesity epidemic by directing the CDC to take three steps: (1) train health professionals to recognize the signs of obesity early
and to educate people concerning healthy lifestyles, such as proper nutrition and regular exercise; (2) conduct public education campaigns about how to recognize and address overweight and obesity issues; and (3) develop intervention strategies that can be
used in everyday life, such as in the workplace and in community settings. The CDC reports that Type 2 Diabetes, once considered an adult disease, is now widespread among children. The rising cost of the health care system, including insurance premiums,
reflect this epidemic. Today, chronic diseases, many of which are caused or exacerbated by overweight and obesity problems, account for 70 percent of all deaths in the U.S. and 86 percent of U.S. medical care costs.
A focused national health initiative would provide guidance to the states regarding how to engage in similar programs, as mayors of some cities have done. A national focus could lead to changes like full participation in high school physical education classes,
which dropped from 42 percent in 1991 to 33 percent in 2005. Changes in nutrition are equally critical because more than half of all young people consume too much fat, a factor in the doubling of the percentage of overweight youth. Data also show an increase
in unhealthy eating habits for adults and no change in physical activity. Therefore, I urge you to join me in support of this important legislation to mobilize the country now before entirely preventable health conditions, which often begin in childhood,
overwhelm the nation’s health care system.
To cosponsor H.R. 5322, or for more information, please contact Noelle Jones at
Noelle.Jones@mail.house.gov or X-58050.
Eleanor Holmes Norton
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