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WASHINGTON, DC – Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) introduced a resolution yesterday to designate September as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.   According to the Campaign to End Obesity, about 31.8 percent of American children under 19, or about 24 million young people, are obese.  More than a third of Ohio’s children are obese, the 12th highest rate in the nation.  Numerous studies link childhood obesity to a higher risk of shorter lifespans and chronic diseases such as Type II diabetes and heart disease.   As a leader on the issue, Congresswoman Fudge was the first in the House of Representatives to champion September as Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in 2010.

“I’m pleased to renew the call for greater awareness of the childhood obesity epidemic and encourage families, schools, community leaders and medical providers to combine their efforts to reduce this serious health risk to our children.  September marks an opportunity for Congress to focus people on this issue while discussing ways we can engage our families and communities on how best to curb this unhealthy trend.”

“In 2012, obesity rates among low-income preschoolers dropped by small, but measurable amounts in 19 states, the first reversal of a trend 30 years in the making.  While my home state was not among the nineteen, I’m encouraged that momentum is building in Ohio and elsewhere to devise strategies that can make a difference in promoting better nutrition and more physical activity for our young people.   We must increaseaccess to affordable healthy foods, particularly in low income communities, and give childhood obesity the attention it deserves so we can lead our nation’s children to healthier lifestyles.”

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reportschildren who are overweight or obese as preschoolers are 5 times as likely as normal-weight children to be overweight or obese as adults.  Obesity also creates an economic burden, driving up direct health care costs in the U.S. by an estimated $14 billion a year.

Congresswoman Fudge’s resolution has bipartisan support in the House and the support of organizations includingAAHPERD, American College of Sports Medicine, America Scores Cleveland, Campaign to End Obesity, HealthCorps, National Council of Youth Sports (NYCS), Varsity Brands and YWCA.

See a copy of the resolution here.