OBESITY EPIDEMIC STIRS PUBLIC DEBATE ON LEGISLATIVE SOLUTIONS

(Washington Post, August 10, 2003)
Policymakers across the nation are debating legislative solutions to the obesity epidemic in America. Twenty-five states are considering restrictions on the sale of soda and candy in schools after similar laws were passed in Texas and Arkansas. Child advocacy and parent groups in Seattle and Alabama are campaigning to eliminate advertising for non-nutritious foods aimed at children. Also, Assemblyman Felix Oritz (D) of New York State has proposed legislation that would tax fatty foods as well as video games and movie tickets, with the resulting funds going to nutrition and exercise programs. On the other hand, federal spending on the Centers for Disease Control's ad campaign promoting healthy lifestyles for young people has dropped from $125 million in 2001 to a proposed $5 million in the 2004 budget.