Pledging
These are the original issues in this subcategory
  • DIABETES
  • HEART DISEASE
  • MENTAL HEALTH
  • OBESITY
Winning Issue » OBESITY


Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat often has an adverse effect on health and life expectancy. People are considered obese if their body mass index, a measurement derived by dividing a person's weight in kilograms by the square of the person's height in meters, exceeds 30 kg/m2. In other words, a 5’9” person would be considered obese if he or she weighed over 200 lbs. The incidence of American obesity and being overweight is increasing for all age groups. An estimated 32% of men, 36% of women and 17% of our children and adolescents are considered obese. There is now twice the number of overweight children and 3 times the number of overweight adolescents as there was 35 years ago. Obese individuals have a 50% to 100% increased risk of premature death and at least 300,000 deaths a year are associated with this condition. The direct and indirect costs of obesity are nearly $120 billion each year. And these costs, which exceed the cost of tobacco-related illnesses, appear to be rising. Recent research also shows that obesity plays a much bigger role in causing cancer than previously believed, accounting for 14% of cancers in men and 20% of cancers in women. Recent studies show that being overweight and obese puts one at greater risk of developing 10 of the most common cancers.

Doctors say weight control programs should promote a healthy lifestyle which includes regular physical activity and healthy eating. However, the most recent studies show exercise is not nearly as important in controlling weight as reducing one’s intake of sugars and carbohydrates. They warn the amount of added sugar in our diet greatly contributes to obesity – and could very well be the primary culprit in this epidemic. They claim most people are unaware of the amount of sugar they consume in everyday foods. Unlike natural occurring sugars such as those in fruits -which also offer benefits like vitamins, fiber and antioxidants- added sugar has no nutritional benefit, only calories. The FDA states that 16% of an average person’s daily calories come from added sugars in soda, energy, sports and sugar-sweetened fruit drinks, grain and dairy-based desserts, candy, cereals, fruit packed in syrup, and sweetened yogurt. Even “healthy” foods such as low fat milk, coleslaw, barbecue and spaghetti sauces, ketchup, coffee drinks, dried fruits, granola and protein bars have unexpectedly high levels of added sugar. Advocates want food package labels to list the amount of added sugar in all our foods. When the FDA proposed such a rule last year it received nearly 290,000 public comments, but it is unclear when or if it will be adopted. Added sugar content labels are strongly resisted by our sugar industry, whose lobbyists are among the most powerful in Washington.


Pending Legislation:
H.R.1687 - Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2015



Polling Options

  • I oppose reforming current obesity policy and wish to defeat H.R.1687 - Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2015, and also wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of either Rep. Paul Ryan or Sen. Mitch McConnell
  • I support programs for children's nutrition and physical activity in schools and with child care providers, expanding the free fresh fruit program; setting forth requirements to expand healthy activities in the community, permitting use of schools for recreational and nutritional purposes during nonschool hours, awarding grants for sports and athletic programs for individuals with disabilities, awarding grants to establish community gardens, requiring physical activity guidelines for the general public, and promoting healthy foods and physical activity at national parks; addresses workplace wellness by allowing a wellness program credit for employers, excluding from an employee's income the fees paid by an employer to an athletic or fitness facility on the employee's behalf, and promoting breastfeeding among working mothers; encouraging individuals to use stairs, and installation of bicycle storage areas, and wish to either reintroduce S.39 - Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof, and also wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) or to an advocate group currently working with this issue
  • I support requiring food product labels to include the amount of added sugar to these products, and wish to sponsor a bill to require the Food and Drug Administration to mandate the addition of a new line on food product labels which lists how many teaspoons of sugar have been added to a single serving of a food product, and also wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) or to an advocate group currently working with this issue
  • I support imposing an excise tax on the sale or transfer of any specified sugar-sweetened beverage product by the manufacturer, producer, or importer thereof; establishing the rate of such tax as 1cent per 4.2 grams of caloric sweetener contained in such product; transferring revenues from such tax to the Prevention and Public Health Fund for the sole purpose of funding programs and research to reduce the human and economic costs of diabetes, obesity, dental caries, and other diet-related health conditions in priority population, and wish to pass H.R.1687 - Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax Act of 2015, and also wish to donate resources to either the campaign committees of Rep. Paul Ryan (WI) and/or Rep. Rosa DeLauro (CT), or to an advocate group currently working with this issue


Winning Option

  • I support programs for children's nutrition and physical activity in schools and with child care providers, expanding the free fresh fruit program; setting forth requirements to expand healthy activities in the community, permitting use of schools for recreational and nutritional purposes during nonschool hours, awarding grants for sports and athletic programs for individuals with disabilities, awarding grants to establish community gardens, requiring physical activity guidelines for the general public, and promoting healthy foods and physical activity at national parks; addresses workplace wellness by allowing a wellness program credit for employers, excluding from an employee's income the fees paid by an employer to an athletic or fitness facility on the employee's behalf, and promoting breastfeeding among working mothers; encouraging individuals to use stairs, and installation of bicycle storage areas, and wish to either reintroduce S.39 - Healthy Lifestyles and Prevention America Act (113th Congress 2013-2014), or a similar version thereof, and also wish to donate resources to the campaign committee of Sen. Kelly Ayotte (NH) or to an advocate group currently working with this issue
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Pledge Period - Opening Date
May 28, 2020
Pledge Period - Closing Date
June 10, 2020
Trustee Election - Begins
June 4, 2020


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