With obesity rates at an all time high in the U.S., lawmakers have continued to come up with new policies and plans to try and curb the numbers. The Centers and Disease Control and Prevention reports one of the most recent laws put in place aims to reduce the amount of sodium restaurants are allowed to put in their food. This policy is meant to help lower the high number of coronary conditions Americans have - heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women around the nation.
Even though such laws are meant to help create a healthier America, some have been passed without any input from the people. Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health recently set out to figure out how citizens feel about the laws, many of which are aimed at raising healthy kids.
For the survey, researchers asked more than 1,800 people to see how they felt about the different changes. Overall, the views were positive when it came to issues that helped improve the exercise and diet of children.
The majority of participants (88 percent) agreed with laws that aim to get school-aged children exercising more. More specifically, one study that suggested schools require kids to have at least 45 minutes of physical activity each day was thought to be beneficial by survey respondents. Other policies, which look to make healthier fare more affordable and to require restaurants to list how many calories are in each of their dishes, were also met with praise.
Despite the positives, there were a few policies that did not sit well with those involved with the survey - mainly ones that resulted in punishments or restrictions.
A few issues
For example, less than one-third of participants agreed with a potential policy that suggested punishing students for drinking soda or eating junk food at school. Others also rejected a potential bill that would charge a $50 insurance surcharge for obese people.
How the bills can help today's youth
Certain laws that promote better diets and more exercise in schools are key in helping to reduce the high childhood obesity rates. Approximately 17 percent of all kid and teens between the ages of 2 and 19 are obese, the CDC reports.
Parents can ensure their youngsters are equipped with the tools to thrive as they age by making sure they get at least 60 minutes of exercise a day through taking the dog for a walk or using playground equipment. Signing them up for swim lessons or a few youth sport leagues will also encourage them to stay active.