Legislative-Briefs-Government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

Strategies to improve Louisiana’s food environment:
The Tulane Prevention Research Center (PRC) is educating state lawmakers this spring about several strategies for expanding access to healthy foods and improving the food environment in Louisiana. To see the Tulane PRC’s research briefs on strategies to improve Louisiana’s public health, click here.
Lawmakers have several pieces of legislation in front of them this spring that focus on food in schools, farming, and food retail. Among the bills and resolutions up for debate, Rep. Ebony Woodruff (D-Marrero) has introduced bills related to sugary drinks, farm to school programs, urban agriculture, and incentives for stores operating in food deserts. Click here to view the legislation.

Families are focus for two Louisiana bills:
Policies that improve family leave and maternity leave for employees is the centerpiece of recent work by the Tulane Mary Amelia Women’s Center this spring. State Rep. Karen Carter Peterson (D-New Orleans) requested research about family and sick leave from MAC and, based on that research, has authored two bills during this year’s legislative session, which began April 13 and runs till June 11.
An analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research revealed that 41 percent of all Louisiana workers lack even a single paid sick day. This lack of access is even more pronounced among low-income and part-time workers. Currently, only 12 percent of U.S. private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer.
To view the IWPR analysis paper on paid sick days for Louisiana workers, click here.

Action plan submitted by Louisiana obesity commission:
The commission overseeing statewide efforts to prevent and reduce obesity in Louisiana delivered its initial report and action plan to the Senate Health and Welfare Committee this spring. The plan includes steps for mapping resources, programs and organizations targeting obesity in the state and identifying the status of various policies related to obesity, diet and nutrition, physical activity and health.
State lawmakers created the Louisiana Obesity Prevention and Management Commission in 2014 for the purpose of coordinating activities dedicated to the prevention and reduction of obesity across Louisiana. Members of the commission include representatives from the state Department of Health and Hospitals, Department of Education, Department of Insurance, House and Senate chambers, Tulane Prevention Research Center, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning, Baptist Community Ministries and Ochsner Health System.

Bars, casinos and hotels go smoke-free in New Orleans:
On April 22, New Orleans went smoke free in new places, thanks to the City Council’s unanimous passage of a new ordinance that was led by Councilmember LaToya Cantrell and Councilmember Susan Guidry.
New Orleans joins eight Louisiana communities and more than 1,200 municipalities nationwide that have gone smoke-free, according to the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living. Additionally, other cities have taken notice and are considering similar ordinances within the state.
The New Orleans law includes fines of up to $50 for violations. Business owners or employers in violation can be fined starting at $100 and increase if they are fined more than once in a year.

New Orleans residents get more fitness programming at public parks:
The Fit NOLA Parks program, a partnership between City of New Orleans’ Fit NOLA initiative, the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC), and the Louisiana Public Health Institute (LPHI), expanded from three parks to six parks this year.
Fit NOLA parks offers free, public fitness activities, such as boot camp, hula hooping, kickboxing, and yoga classes at the following six NORDC locations: St. Roch Park in the St. Roch neighborhood, Taylor Park in Central City, Norwood Thompson Park in Gert Town, Conrad Park in Hollygrove, Stalling Gentilly Park in Gentilly, and Behrman Recreation Center and Park in Algiers. For the full schedule of classes, click here to visit www.nola.gov/nordc/fit-nola-parks.
In addition to recreational activities several days per week for people of all ages and skill levels, booster clubs sell healthy food options at park concession stands. Police officers are asked to provide increased security at the parks during activity times to encourage greater use.
Additional Fit NOLA Parks partners include the New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation, Market Umbrella, Tulane Prevention Research Center, Daughters of Charity Services of New Orleans, Norwood Thompson Booster Club, Taylor Booster Club, St. Roch Booster Club, and New Orleans Police Department. The project is funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation and matching funds from Chevron.

By Naomi King Englar

Topics:   community health , policy , obesity , childhood obesity , nutrition , diet , physical activity , school food , school health , agriculture

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