Your Move: Healthiest Next Generation

Feb 28, 2014 by

Your Move: Healthiest Next Generation

Obesity Rates Down, Chance to Prop Up the Healthiest Next Generation (2SHB 2643)

If you tuned into the news this week, you saw hopeful developments in the fight to prevent childhood obesity. Rates have declined among ages 2-5 years, and our First Lady is leading the charge to keep unhealthy marketing out of schools and to revamp our nutrition labels. The bad news is that high obesity rates are persisting in other age groups – and while we see pockets of decline in places like King County, we need to move the needle Washington state as a whole.

The Healthiest Next Generation Bill (2SHB 2643) presents an opportunity for Washington state to engage in obesity prevention in a real way. We need YOUR help to ensure this bill passes and that the next Washington state generation is the healthiest that it can be.

A Senate Ways & Means Hearing is scheduled for Monday afternoon, March 3rd. We need you to show your support by calling or writing the individuals below by mid-day on Monday (see bill details and talking points below).

Senator Phone
Hill, Andy (R) Chair (360) 786-7672
Baumgartner, Michael (R) Vice Chair (360) 786-7610
Honeyford, Jim (R) **** (360) 786-7684
Hargrove, James (D) * (360) 786-7646
Keiser, Karen (D) Assistant Ranking Member on the Capital Budget (360) 786-7664
Ranker, Kevin (D) Assistant Ranking Member on the Operating Budget (360) 786-7678
Bailey, Barbara (R) (360) 786-7618
Becker, Randi (R) (360) 786-7602
Billig, Andy (D) (360) 786-7604
Braun, John (R) (360) 786-7638
Conway, Steve (D) (360) 786-7656
Dammeier, Bruce (R) (360) 786-7648
Fraser, Karen (D) (360) 786-7642
Frockt, David (D) (360) 786-7690
Hasegawa, Bob (D) (360) 786-7616
Hatfield, Brian (D) (360) 786-7636
Hewitt, Mike (R) (360) 786-7630
Kohl-Welles, Jeanne (D) (360) 786-7670
Padden, Mike (R) (360) 786-7606
Parlette, Linda Evans (R) (360) 786-7622
Rivers, Ann (R) (360) 786-7634
Schoesler, Mark (R) (360) 786-7620
Tom, Rodney (D) (360) 786-7


What does the Healthiest Next Generation bill (2SHB 2643) do?
The bill will establish the Governor’s Council for the Healthiest Next Generation to identify policy-related action plans and funding recommendations that protect children’s health. Furthermore, a strategic Work Group will be staffed with representatives from three state agencies who will work together to prevent obesity in early learning environments and school environments, and also to support breastfeeding efforts. To learn more about the bill, see the bill report.
How does an investment in obesity prevention help Washington state?
Obesity costs Washington state money, including greater direct medical costs, productivity costs, transportation costs, and human capital costs:
  • Obese children have higher outpatient, emergency room and pharmacy expenditures than average weight children.
  • Recent research has shown that obese adolescence is linked with lower cognitive performance, affecting a child’s ability to learn and grow into successful adults.
  • Obesity-related job absenteeism costs $4.3 billion annually in the U.S.
  • Obesity is associated with lower productivity while at work, which costs employers $506 per obese worker per year.
If Washington state invests in its children now, a 5% decrease in BMI rates in 2030 could achieve $14.7 billion in health care cost savings. Now that’s a sound investment!

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