House bill aims to reduce obesity through work programs

January 21, 2010

A newly introduced House bill would create a national program geared toward reducing the number of overweight and obese people in the United States.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) on Jan. 13 introduced the Lifelong Improvements in Food and Exercise (LIFE) Act (H.R. 4452). The bill amends the Public Health Service Act by directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to carry out national programs at worksites and community settings to educate the public on how to address obesity.

CDC notes that a wide range of health effects can stem from obesity, including coronary heart disease, cancer, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. Some studies have shown a correlation between an increase in workers' body mass index -- a common measurement calculating healthy weight -- and increases in lost workdays, and medical and indemnity costs.