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Healthy Kids Meals Legislation Does Not Survive Session

Legislators adjourn without making progress on obesity.

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Vermont legislators adjourned this year without addressing a major public health crisis -- obesity.

Legislation which would have made healthy beverages the default beverages for restaurant kids' meals in Vermont was sent to the House Commerce Committee where it died after making incredible progress in the Senate and passing the House Human Services Committee.

The problem isn't going to improve on its own.

The obesity rate of adults in Vermont has been steadily climbing from 10% in 1990 to 25.1% currently.

Vermont’s current 38,000 cases of heart disease are expected to grow to 190,600 and its current 10,270 cases of obesity-related cancer are expected to grow to 27,750 by 2030 if Vermont continues on its current path.

One of the problems is that Americans eat 23 percent more calories than we did in 1970. But telling people they need to fix the problem on their own or with some education isn't cutting it either. In fact, 50 percent of dieters weighed more than 11 pounds over their starting weight five years after their diet, according to one study. Policy efforts that help make the healthy choice the easy choice are effective and desperately needed.

Let lawmakers know that prevention is critical. Please urge your legislators to make obesity prevention a priority next year.

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