Legislative-Briefs-Government-actions-on-obesity

Legislative Briefs: Government actions on obesity

June 2015

Public health policies passed at the close of 2015 Louisiana Legislature Bills and resolutions focusing on nutrition, obesity, and prevention-based strategies garnered political support in Louisiana this spring. The 2015 Regular Legislative Session, which ran from April to June, led to the passage of several pieces of legislation aimed at improving the health of Louisiana residents. The following is a summary of some legislation focused on these goals. Bill and resolution authors are listed in parenthesis. Click on the bill or resolution number for details.
  • House Bill 761 (Rep. Ebony Woodruff of Terrytown) establishes an urban agriculture incentive zone in cities with at least 45,000 residents in order to make growing fruits and vegetables easier in urban areas. The bill changes the rate of property taxes from residential to agricultural if property owners commit to growing commercial or non-commercial agriculture on the land for at least 5 years.
  • Act 167/Senate Bill 184 (Sen. Francis Thompson of Delhi and Sen. Michael Walsworth of West Monroe) modifies the policy for small purchases of food to make it easier for Louisiana schools to buy fresh and seasonal foods from local farmers.
  • House Concurrent Resolution 205 (Woodruff) creates a task force to study and identify food deserts in Louisiana. The task force will make recommendations to address food deserts and submit a final report by June 30, 2016 to the legislature and the Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH).
  • Senate Concurrent Resolution 34 (Sen. David Heitmeier of Algiers) requests the DHH, Department of Education Medicaid managed-care organizations, and representatives from the Whole Child Initiative to develop a plan to implement the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model, which was created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
  • House Concurrent Resolution 81 (Rep. Ledricka Thierry of Opelousas) creates a Task Force on Summer Hunger that will create and submit a written report to the House and Senate education committees no later than 60 days before the 2016 legislative session.

New Orleans Health Department publishes revised Community Health Improvement Plan
With the help of a committee of health professionals, community-based organizations, and nonprofit leaders, the New Orleans Health Department published its revised Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) in May 2015. This plan describes the community’s shared vision for health in the city and outlines detailed collaborative action plans across several health priority areas.
The first version of the plan was released in January 2013 targeting five priority areas: Access to physical and behavioral healthcare, social determinants of health, violence prevention, healthy lifestyles, and family health. In June 2014, the Health Department reconvened the committee to revise the CHIP goals with those five areas as a foundation while considering new development in public health and in the city.
To read the revised CHIP, click here.

For information about the Tulane Prevention Research Center’s policy and advocacy work, contact Adrienne Mundorf at arathert@tulane.edu or 504-988-5174.

Topics:   policy , nutrition , diet , food environment , agriculture , school food

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