HeLP America Act an Important Step Toward Curbing Obesity, Reducing Disease

Statement of CSPI Nutrition Policy Director Margo G. Wootan

May 18, 2005

Senator Harkin's HeLP America Act offers bold initiatives aimed at improving the health of all Americans by preventing disease and promoting wellness. Senator Harkin is to be congratulated for calling attention to the fact that America spends enormous sums of money to treat illness and yet spends very little to make sure people do not get sick in the first place.

The HeLP America Act includes a number of policies and programs aimed at nutrition, physical activity, and obesity. Over the past two decades, obesity rates have doubled in adults and children and tripled in teens. Provisions in this legislation to improve school foods, provide nutrition labeling at chain restaurants, curb junk food marketing aimed at children, and fund nutrition and physical activity programs at the Centers for Disease Control are just the kind of actions that government should take to give Americans a fighting chance to eat well, be active, and maintain a healthy weight.

While others talk about obesity, Senator Harkin is offering Congress the chance to enact meaningful legislation which would help Americans to make real improvements to their health and quality of life and help to reduce skyrocketing healthcare costs.


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