THE HILL | While headlines harp that the U.S. is a nation “hopelessly divided,” there is something lawmakers can band together on: forging a solution to our obesity epidemic. In addition to being one of the greatest health threats our nation has ever faced, it is a terrible burden for employers, who are forced to spend more than $73 billion in costs associated with overweight-related medical and lost productivity costs every year. Obesity also threatens national security, as the leading medical reason why 71 percent of young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 cannot qualify for military service.
The good news is that Congress has the opportunity to sustain recent improvements to school nutrition programs—a major step forward since many young people consume up to half of their daily calories during the school day.
That’s the headline from Capitol Hill, thanks to the Senate Agriculture Committee unanimously passing the bipartisan Improve Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act in January.
Last week, a House version of the child nutrition reauthorization was introduced, but without the strong bipartisan support the Senate garnered. It is now up to the House Education and Workforce Committee to find common ground with the Senate to move this issue forward.