Lawmakers weigh in on Utah's battle of the bulge

Published: Friday, Feb. 24 2012 5:23 p.m. MST

SALT LAKE CITY — State lawmakers often talk about cutting the fat from government. Now, they're weighing in with a resolution aimed at trimming excess pounds from the Utah populace.

HCR15 recognizes obesity as a serious public health and economic issue in Utah, accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs.

Obese or overweight Utahns numbered 1,138,515 — nearly half the state's population — in 2010, according to the resolution sponsored by Rep. Stewart Barlow, R-Fruit Heights. One in five elementary school-age children were obese in 2010.

The resolution says most Utah adults and children fail to exercise 150 minutes a week and 60 minutes a day, respectively, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It calls on the state to urge communities, schools, work sites and health care communities to increase access to healthy food and physical activity and to support initiatives that educate Utahns about solutions to "Utah's obesity epidemic."

The House Workforce Services and Community and Economic Development Committee gave the resolution a favorable recommendation. It now goes to the House floor.

Dennis Romboy >Twitter: dennisromboy

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