Actually, it’s called the Office of Nutrition and Fitness.
But whatever you call it, New Jersey’s agency will begin operating in a few weeks. They intend to take action against obesity, not just talk about it.
About 37% of New Jersey residents are overweight; almost 23% are obese.
Of all the states, New Jersey has the highest percentage of overweight and obese children under age 5 — a whopping 18%!
Those Are Frightening Numbers
Especially when you consider that obesity has become the #2 cause of preventable death in the U.S. (Smoking is #1.)
If you’re overweight, you face a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high cholesterol, arthritis, asthma, and more.
This new agency wants to focus especially on younger residents.
Because it’s easier to prevent obesity with good diet and exercise habits than to treat the problem later.
What They Plan To Do
The agency will spend over $2 million for nutrition and fitness programs.
They’ll encourage physical activity for everyone and provide fresh fruits and veggies for certain eligible citizens.
The Special Focus On Children
For kids, they’ll start early.
So early that the agency will urge new mothers to breast-feed their babies to reduce obesity later on.
By September, all schools in New Jersey must limit the number of high-calorie, high-sugar foods available.
They’re even considering having schools notify parents about their kids’ weight problems.
My Two Cents
I don’t agree with that last one. I think it creates too much of a stigma for overweight children if their schools single them out.
But if New Jersey does this right, they could become a model for the rest of the nation.
I especially like their emphasis on prevention. The health consequences for overweight kids are too serious to ignore.
It’s about time someone does more than just talk about it.
Like I said, I hope New Jersey does this right.