Grove, Joint State Government Commission Launch Statewide Study to Tackle Childhood Obesity
8/16/2013

HARRISBURG – Rep. Seth Grove (R-Dover) attended the initial meeting of the Joint State Government Commission’s Childhood Obesity Advisory Committee today to begin work on a statewide childhood obesity study.   

On June 5, the Pennsylvania House unanimously adopted Grove’s resolution directing the Joint State Government Commission to assemble this advisory committee of professional experts and organizations, such as the YMCA, to study this issue.   

“Without question, childhood obesity is an issue that negatively impacts both the health of our children and our economy,” said Grove.   “If we can find strategies to make Pennsylvania’s children healthier, it could realistically lead to enhanced job growth, higher salaries and increased productivity.   This important work begins today.” 

House Resolution 243 also calls on the Childhood Obesity Advisory Committee and the Joint State Government Commission to a produce final report with comprehensive findings of fact, recommendations and any proposed legislative remedies within one year.

National studies continue to show the increasing problem of childhood obesity and the costly implications in terms of long-term health, education and potential for future success. The most recent report issued from the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention showed some evidence of a slight decline in childhood obesity among low income preschoolers in 18 states. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania was among the only three states, joining Colorado and Tennessee, in registering an increase.    

Previous CDC studies show that childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in teens over the past 30 years.  Nearly 20 percent of children and adolescents are classified as obese, with more than one-third of minors qualifying as either overweight or obese.  

Childhood obesity is linked to a myriad of health problems, including type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  It also makes a child more likely to become a severely obese adult.  In 2009, the CDC conducted a study which estimated the annual health costs of obesity to be as high as $147 billion. 

“Based on the latest results, the Commonwealth still needs to fully discover the extent of this problem, and its root causes, and explore various means for addressing childhood obesity while respecting the dignity and freedom of our children and families,” said Grove.   “Both the YMCA of the USA and the Pennsylvania State Alliance of YMCAs have identified childhood obesity as one of the most significant health care challenges facing children in Pennsylvania and across the nation.   As co-chairman of the YMCA Legislative Caucus, I was pleased to advance this resolution to assemble this dedicated group of individuals to study and analyze this problem, and more importantly, offer responsible actions to combat it and to ensure the health and well-being of our children.”

The Childhood Obesity Advisory Committee has tentatively scheduled three additional meetings for Oct. 13, 2013; Feb. 7, 2014; and March 14, 2014.   The final report must be presented to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives no later than June 5, 2014.

More information about Grove and his legislative priorities is available at RepGrove.com and Facebook.com/RepSethGrove

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact:  Ty McCauslin
717.772.9979
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