Bill to Add Free Water to School Menus, Costs of Obesity named “Best/Worst News for Prevention”
Posted Sep 27 2010 11:39am
The bill introduced in California to require schools to provide free drinking water in eating areas was named the “Best News for Prevention” while the new report showing the high price of obesity was named the “Worst News for Prevention.”
In many California school cafeterias, there's no free water to drink. Surprised?
"Everyone I talked to says, 'You're kidding,' " said state Sen. Mark Leno (D- San Francisco).
Leno has introduced legislation to change that. His bill requiring schools to offer drinking water at no charge to students has passed the Senate and Assembly and awaits the governor's signature — a fairly sure thing because the governor sponsored the bill.
"As we all know, young people are constantly bombarded by advertisements and pressure from their peers to consume junk beverages that are high in calories and sugar. Yet many students do not have access to free, fresh drinking water at lunchtime," Leno said in material promoting his bill.
Obesity puts a drag on the wallet as well as health, especially for women.
Doctors have long known that medical bills are higher for the obese, but that's only a portion of the real-life costs.
George Washington University researchers added in things like employee sick days, lost productivity, even the need for extra gasoline — and found the annual cost of being obese is $4,879 for a woman and $2,646 for a man.
That's far more than the cost of being merely overweight — $524 for women and $432 for men, concluded the report being released last Tuesday, which analyzed previously published studies to come up with a total.
The “Best and Worst” awards are announced each week in “Prevention Matters,” the blog of Partnership for Prevention. "Best and Worst News for Prevention” is based on a purposive sample of expert staff members who each week choose to share their opinions on the best and worst news for prevention. More information is available at http://www.prevent.org/ .