Saint Paul, MINN – Sen. Alice Johnson (DFL-Spring Lake Park) legislation to provide $50,000 from the General Fund to fund a study aimed at the prevention of childhood obesity made the cut and is part of the State and Local Government Finance bill.
The nine-month program would serve 80 children who have been diagnosed as obese. Childhood obesity is an urgent issue around the country and in spite of the rising number of children diagnosed as obese, there are no programs available. The study is a collaborative effort developed by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, the University of Minnesota School of Public Health, and the University of Minnesota Department of Family Medicine and Community Health.
Currently, when a doctor or school nurse identifies an obese child, there are no programs to refer that child to. The purpose of the study is to develop an intervention program for referrals and teach children healthy habits . “This program gives medical personnel a place to refer these children,” Sen. Johnson said. “In addition, it gives kids a safe place to learn healthy eating habits and bring exercise into their everyday life.”