A national expert on health prevention programs urged lawmakers this week to adopt policies to fight what he called a “nationwide epidemic of obesity.” Dr. James Marks is the director for Chronic Disease Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Marks says obesity and tobacco are the leading causes of heart disease and stroke. He wants lawmakers to support measures that encourage Vermonters to eat less fatty foods and engage in more physical activity:
(Marks) “And when that epidemic is coupled with an aging society, we in fact can’t sustain the health care system. We have – as the baby boomers start to get really costly, as they get older – we’re going to find ourselves making increasingly difficult choices to how much health care we can afford, unless we can help them and others get healthier so that they need less health care.”
A group of lawmakers is forming a special task force to look at this issue. They say they will introduce legislation that will place a new tax on soft drinks to help fund more health promotion programs.