Thursday, March 6, 2014

Forum Reveals Texas Legislators’ Perceptions on Obesity Prevention and Control

Researchers revealed the results the 2013 Texas Health Perception Survey to legislative staffers and community health care leaders gathered at the Texas Public Health Coalition’s (TPHC’s) University of Health forum today. The forum featured researchers Deanna M. Hoelscher, PhD, RD, LD, and Diane M. Dowdy, PhD. The survey identifies how Texas lawmakers view obesity prevention and their thoughts on how to address this critical issue ― all important information for the staffers to consider as they begin to work on public health policy issues for the 2015 legislative session.

Most of the 83 legislators surveyed place strong emphasis on an individual’s personal responsibility toward his or her health. But legislators also agree parents, families, physicians and health care providers, and communities should play a role in fighting obesity. The survey found legislators support addressing childhood obesity by increasing access to healthy foods, increasing physical activity in early childhood programs, and educating parents. However, many legislators oppose limiting advertisements for unhealthy food and limiting the sale of these items in vending machines and cafeterias.

For more information on the survey, visit www.tcoppe.org.

The Texas Medical Association is a founding member of the TPHC, a group of 25 organizations dedicated to advancing core public health principles at the state and community levels. 

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