Re: your July 6 editorial, â€śMoney fails to convince kidsâ€?:
This editorial is correct in that obesity is a serious national health problem that needs to be addressed. Nutrition education is necessary but alone is insufficient to combat the problem. A comprehensive strategy, which includes education, is required to promote an environment that encourages healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger understands that we all share the consequences of obesity â€” a growing price tag of $28 billion this year in healthcare, increased chronic medical conditions and lost worker productivity. Earlier this year, the governor put forward a comprehensive healthcare reform plan that includes innovative ideas to fight obesity. Individuals in public programs will earn rewards that may include gym memberships or weight management programs, and health plans would be required to offer Californians a health benefit package that includes incentives and rewards for healthy living. The state would also undertake comprehensive community-based strategies to promote healthy eating and activity â€“ in a campaign modeled on Californiaâ€™s nation-leading efforts to combat tobacco.
The governor is fully engaged and is providing the leadership and innovative ideas necessary to turn the tide on the obesity epidemic in California.
â€” Kim BelshĂ©, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency, Sacramento