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Gaining Costs, Losing Time: The Obesity Crisis in Texas

Gaining Costs, Losing Time: The Obesity Crisis in Texas

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Gaining Costs, Losing Time is a report from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs that identifies successful efforts to combat obesity through workplace wellness programs; higher nutritional standards for school meals; increased emphasis on physical education and nutrition awareness in public schools; and community-based initiatives to help children and adults lose weight and achieve healthier lifestyles.

The report includes recommendations to encourage and invest in obesity prevention and intervention programs.

View an accessible version of this document at http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/obesitycost/.
Gaining Costs, Losing Time is a report from Texas Comptroller Susan Combs that identifies successful efforts to combat obesity through workplace wellness programs; higher nutritional standards for school meals; increased emphasis on physical education and nutrition awareness in public schools; and community-based initiatives to help children and adults lose weight and achieve healthier lifestyles.

The report includes recommendations to encourage and invest in obesity prevention and intervention programs.

View an accessible version of this document at http://www.window.state.tx.us/specialrpt/obesitycost/.

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Published by: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts on Mar 18, 2011
Copyright:Public Domain

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02/26/2013

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The Obesity Crisis in Texas

 
February 4, 2011Ladies and Gentlemen:
roughout my career, I have advocated for the well-being of our children. One of the greatest threatsto our children’s future is the growing trend of childhood obesity. Unhealthy children often becomeunhealthy adults. Since 2003, I’ve led e
ff 
orts to change government policies and to raise public awarenessof the human and financial costs of obesity. As Comptroller, I am committed to ensuring that we have ahealthy work force to support Texas’ economic vitality and growth.
is report updates a 2007 Comptroller report outlining the cost of obesity to Texas businesses andprovides strong recommendations to address the state’s obesity crisis on all levels: in our schools,businesses and communities.
e number of Texans who are overweight or obese continues to grow, accounting for a significant jumpin the costs borne by Texas employers. Today, 66.7 percent of adult Texans are overweight or obese, upfrom 64.1 percent in 2005.
e rising cost of treating obesity-related diseases and an aging population with higher rates of obesity also have increased the Comptroller’s estimate of obesity costs to Texas businesses. Our updated estimatesput obesity-related costs for Texas businesses at
$9.5 billion in 2009 
. Left unchecked,
obesity could cost employers $32.5 billion annually by 2030 
.
ese costs consume a growing share of economic output thatcould otherwise support more productive activities. Obesity-related costs also contribute to rising healthcare and insurance costs that have forced some Texas employers to reduce insurance coverage.
is is a battle we cannot a
ff 
ord to lose.
e importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is something I experience first-hand on my family ranch in West Texas. On the ranch, you have to be fit and healthy to survive. If your car breaks down orruns out of gas, you might have to walk 10 miles or more to the nearest farm for help.
e fight to curb obesity has important implications for all Texans, from their wallets to their personalhealth.
e magnitude of the challenge requires an equally bold response. Our e
ff 
orts will require us toconsider and
challenge 
the way we live, and the importance we place on a healthy lifestyle.Sincerely,Susan Combs

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