Lawmakers Unwrap Bills to Address Childhood Obesity

Lawmakers Unwrap Bills to Address Childhood Obesity

The Speaker’s Task Force on Childhood Obesity, led by Representative Karen Hurd (R-Fall Creek) as chair and Representative Robyn Vining (D-Wauwatosa) as vice-chair along with Representative Behnke (R – Oconto), Representative Penterman (R-Columbus), Representative Rozar (R – Marshfield), Representative Schmidt (R – Bonduel), Representative Joers (D – Middleton), and Representative Ratcliff (D – Cottage Grove) presents five bills to address obesity amongst children.

Ten percent of children age 2-5 years are obese; 15.2% ages 6-11 years; 17.9% ages 12-17 years, and obesity continues to increase as our citizens age until 47.1% of our Wisconsin population is obese by the age of 65 years, according to statistics supplied by WI Department of Health Services.

The first two bills appropriate $5,000,000 for the DHS to award two-year grants for childhood obesity prevention and management programs.

The third bill reallocates existing $425,000 for the DHS to administer a healthy food incentive program statewide and seeks a federal funding match. Under the program, FoodShare recipients would receive an amount up to the amount of benefits used at the eligible retailer for the purpose of purchasing fruits and vegetables commonly known as Double Bucks.

The fourth bill would require public schools, including independent charter schools, and private schools participating in a parental choice program, to offer at least 180 minutes of physical activity each week to pupils in kindergarten to eighth grade.

The fifth and final bill is an assembly joint resolution proclaiming the week of April 29 to May 3, 2024, as School Nutrition Professionals Appreciation Week.

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