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Attorney General’s Vermont Healthy Weight Initiative
On November 17, 2010, Attorney General William H. Sorrell announced the release of the Reports and Recommendations of the Vermont Healthy Weight Initiative (initially announced, 9 months earlier, as the Obesity Initiative). The Attorney General, in his Report and Recommendations, identified a short list of recommended legislative changes, as well as additional priority actions to which he is committing the resources of the Attorney General’s Office to address overweight and obesity. As explained in the remarks of the Attorney General:
Many Vermonters have put in countless hours of work on the Initiative’s working groups to identify the issues, explore the options, and formulate specific obesity-prevention recommendations in the areas of support for children and families, the retail environment, and land use and transportation planning. I believe the working groups’ reports and their recommendations will move Vermont forward in our efforts to address the causes and consequences of obesity in our state.
There is no compelling reason why Vermont does not lead the country in addressing the obesity and overweight problem. The time to act is now. Working together, our health care providers, educators, government officials, average citizens and our business community can adopt healthy weight as a statewide goal. We can commit the time, energy and resources to the effort to make Vermonters, present and future, the healthiest of Americans.
The Reports and Recommendations are posted here:
Exhibit 1 – Vermont Healthy Weight Initiative Participant List Exhibit 2 – Vermont Healthy Weight Initiative Recommendations Exhibit 3 – Examples of Activities to Promote Healthy Weight in Vermont
Report to the Attorney General of the Children & Families Working Group Report to the Attorney General of the Land Use Working Group Report to the Attorney General of the Retail Environmental Working Group (including discussion of Tax on Sugar Sweetened Beverages)
Background on the Vermont Healthy Weight Initiative
Obesity and overweight are leading public health challenges in Vermont and throughout the country. In 2003, the Vermont Department of Health established the “Fit and Health Vermonters Initiative,” which focused on prevention with strategies to increase physical activity and improve healthy eating for Vermonters of all ages. The Department of Health, the Department of Education, and other state agencies have been working with many community partners to address this situation.
On February 17, 2010, the Attorney General held the first meeting of a new initiative to identify and develop actions to reduce obesity in Vermont which complement the work of the Departments of Health and Education. The presentations from the February 17 meeting are available below. You can listen to the presentation through the audio link and follow along with the power points linked to the title of the presentation.
Working Groups: Based upon the responses to the questionnaire, three working groups have been created for the initiative. The ideas that fall within each are available here: Land Use, Retail Environments, and Children and Families. (There were also some ideas that did not fall within any particular group.)
On June 18, 2010, Attorney General Sorrell was interviewed on Across the Fence on his obesity initiative as well as the 2010 legislative session.
Resources on Obesity
The following resources have been identified by participants in the initiative and do not represent an endorsement by the Office of the Attorney General.
Resources for Working Groups
General - Vermont
General - National
Website consulting provided by The National Association of Attorneys General.