Congressman Tim Ryan Fights Obesity Epidemic

Jul 6, 2016 Issues: Health and Wellness, Health Care

Washington, DC – Representative Tim Ryan (OH-13) today joined Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) as a co-sponsor of the Stop Subsidizing Childhood Obesity Act (HR 5232), a bill that will remove the tax deductibility of expenses for marketing foods of poor nutritional quality to children. This legislation will help stem the tide of our nation’s obesity epidemic for children in the United States—rates which are far too high. This epidemic is evidence that marketing to children does affect their choices, and ultimately their health and diets. Recent studies have also shown that eliminating this deduction would save millions in health care dollars and reduce the incidence of childhood obesity by up to one million children.

“If we continue on our current trajectory, we will have an adult obesity rate of 60 percent within 15 years, and health care spending in this country, including Medicare and Medicaid, will be beyond our ability to pay,” said Congressman Tim Ryan. “Too many of our children consume excess amounts of sodium, sugar and fats, and are not meeting basic nutritional baselines. It is time we stop subsidizing the promotion of food of poor nutritional value to children.”

Companion legislation was introduced in the United States Senate by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
 
Children see an average of 13 food and beverage related TV advertisements per day (about 4,700 per year).  In addition to television, companies market to children in many other ways, including the use of toy giveaways, movies and video games, and product placement. This bill is supported by a number of organizations around the country, including the American Academy of Sports Dietitians and Nutritionists, the American Heart Association, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Franciscan Action Network, MomsRising.org, and the National Education Association.