BALANCE Issue 5: 2007 End of Year Report: A report on state action to promote nutrition, increase physical activity and prevent obesity
Author(s): Albemarle State Policy Center (ASPC)
In 2007 policy-makers across the country made a significant effort to address obesity:
* Twenty-five states launched a pilot project or created a task force, council or commission to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments for children or prevent obesity.
* Lawmakers in 16 states enacted legislation to increase farm-to-school programs or to improve the nutritional quality of school breakfasts, lunches, á la carte selections or vending machine offerings.
* Seven states enacted legislation to promote farmers' markets—and a growing number of states also are working to increase access to fresh affordable foods through grocery stores.
* Some states are considering policies that would require restaurants to provide nutritional information for the foods they offer, and nine states or localities enacted legislation to regulate the use of trans fat.
* Policy-makers in 20 states considered legislation to promote safe physical activity, pedestrian and bicycle transportation and/or efforts to design communities that support physical activity.
* Sixteen states supported policies to strengthen physical education classes or physical activity programs in schools.
* Eleven states enacted laws concerning student BMI measures and/or physical fitness assessments.
Still, many challenges remain at all levels, and further efforts are necessary to increase children's access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity and to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. This end-of-year edition of BALANCE summarizes the key legislative and non-legislative actions and trends of 2007.