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Obesity funding to rise in the US

The US government has announced plans to boost funding in the fight against obesity

The US government has pledged to increase funding in the battle against obesity, which currently costs the country's health system $147bn a year.

Health and Human Service Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius said she views President Barak Obama's healthcare reforms as an opportunity to promote healthier eating habits across the US, as she addressed an obesity conference on July 28, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As part of the planned healthcare reforms, the Obama administration will increase state and local government funding to help control obesity. According to Sebelius the $2.5trn planned overhaul of the healthcare sector would support initiatives aimed at increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables in school lunches and encourage food retailers to sell more fresh produce to poor communities.

Sebelius told conference delegates that most of the $1bn put aside by Congress for disease prevention would go towards initiatives to reduce obesity, heart disease and other chronic illnesses.

During her speech, Sebelius said that the federal government could do more to promote healthy habits, including serving better meals in schools, in care homes for the elderly and in government buildings. In addition, she called for an increase in the number of physical education classes for children and schemes to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport across the country.

29th July 2009

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