We've made great progress in moving legislation through the Senate that would require nutrition standards for food sold and served by Vermont state agencies. But we need your help in urging a House committee to advance this legislation, S.196. If Vermont enacts this measure, we'd be the first state in the country to set standards for food sold by the state in vending, food service and institutions. That would be terrific news in our efforts in trying to reduce diet-related diseases and obesity.
- Government needs to walk-the-walk to serve as a role model for other businesses in the state to assure access to healthy foods and beverages and address diet-related diseases.
- In the United States, obesity and diet-related disease cost $190 billion annually in health care costs. Vermont spends approximately $290 million each year.
- About half of those costs are paid by Medicare and Medicaid.
- The other costs are paid by businesses and individual citizens.
- Obesity-related chronic diseases are projected to sky-rocket if current trends continue. The Robert Wood Johnson Annual State of Obesity report shows Vermont’s 38,000 cases of heart disease will climb to 190,000 in the next 15 years if we don’t act now.
- Providing healthier food options on public property is a sensible, low-cost chronic disease prevention strategy.
- Healthy vending practices could help to decrease health care costs and lost productivity due to chronic diseases.
- Healthy vending on public property supports and models healthy eating.
- Consumer choice is changing and vendors need to keep pace. A Vermont Department of Health 2015 survey of state employees found:
- 89% preferred healthy foods in their diet always or as often as possible
- 75% said they would be willing to spend more for healthier options if they were available in the building
Please let House Human Services Committee members know this issue is important to you! Contact them at: http://legislature.vermont.gov/committee/detail/2016/16