Effort is Based on Model Introduced by Harkin, Others in 2008
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) released the following statement today after meeting at the White House with First Lady Michelle Obama, Cabinet members, business leaders and others on the growing problem of childhood obesity. In 2008, Harkin spearheaded an effort to create the nation’s first federal interagency taskforce responsible for developing a national strategy for combating obesity. The Federal Obesity Prevention Act of 2008, which Senators Harkin, Dodd (D-CT) and Bingaman (D-NM) introduced, aimed to create a federal interagency taskforce responsible for developing a national strategy for combating obesity across America.
Harkin is Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.
“Childhood obesity is more than a threat to a generation -- it is a public health crisis, and one that promises to send our already high health care costs soaring. I commend the First Lady for recognizing the urgency of the problem,” said Harkin.
“I am particularly pleased to see the creation of a Task Force to combat childhood obesity with coordinated, sustained federal leadership. It’s time to bring the federal government and the private sector together with families, communities and schools to develop a roadmap for a healthier America. The increasing urgency of this situation calls for an integrated strategy that employs real solutions to curb obesity and improve the health of our children.”
Harkin is also the author of the bipartisan Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act, which updates decades-old federal nutrition standards for snack foods sold in school cafeterias alongside the regular school meals.
A full list of Harkin initiatives aimed at fighting childhood obesity can be found here: