On October 29, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee approved, by voice vote, a bill (S. 1172) to combat the growing problem of obesity in the United States.
Sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act contains a number of congressional findings, including:
IMPACT would authorize $60 million in grants over five years to schools, public health departments, community groups, and others to plan and implement programs that promote healthy eating habits and physical activity. The measure also would authorize grants to eligible entities to train primary care physicians and other health professionals on how to identify, treat, and prevent obesity and eating disorders. Finally, the bill would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to conduct a report on the causes and health implications of obesity and being overweight.
Rep. Mary Bono (R-CA) has introduced comparable legislation (H.R. 716) in the House.