BOSTON Nov. 24– President-elect Barak Obama’s Health and Human Services Transition Team today was presented with a series of nearly 50 legal and policy recommendations designed to combat the nation’s obesity epidemic.
The document, developed by the Public Health Advocacy Institute (PHAI) at Northeastern University’s School of Law, was sent to the Transition Team by Richard Daynard, a professor at the law school and president of PHAI. DownloadPHAI Obesity Policy Recommendations to Obama Transition Team
“Public health, unlike some other national assets, cannot be ‘rescued’ or ‘bailed out,’” Dayard wrote in a cover letter. “A sophisticated and aggressive federal approach to obesity is desperately needed. “Such an approach could save countless lives and reduce the devastating consequences of this epidemic while meaningfully connecting with healthcare, agriculture and energy policies,” said Mark Gottlieb, Executive Director of the Institute. “A failure of federal obesity policy would have untenable public health and economic consequences.”
- Initiate a mediated public dialogue about reduced portion sizes as a tool for reducing caloric intake of the population.
- Support adoption of a federal law requiring disclosure of calories on menus.
- Develop a cultural program featuring popular personalities to elevate the social value of tasty, healthy food.
- Impose federal taxes, both sales and excise, on purchases of unhealthy foods and beverages and earmark the revenue for obesity programs.
- Promote and fund innovative farm-to-school and farm-to-community programs across the nation to support local farmers and increase access to locally grown food.
- Prohibit and remove all commercial promotion of food in schools and educational settings receiving federal funds.
- Provide funding through the 2009 reauthorization of the federal Child Nutrition Bill to establish a garden in every school.
- Establish strict federal regulations limiting food and beverage advertising to children, including the Internet.
- Shift federal meal programs from the US Dept of Agriculture to the US Dept of Health of Human Services.
- Include reimbursement for preventive care related to obestity as a structured health benefit.