Ortiz Encouraged by Spitzer’s Commitment to Tackle Childhood Obesity

January 18, 2008
Albany – Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, (Brooklyn), sponsor of the state’s first Childhood Obesity Prevention Act, is optimistic about Governor Spitzer’s plan to end childhood obesity in the state through the auditing of physical education requirements, and changing nutrition in the schools. However, Ortiz believes that the Governor’s plan is only the first step in the right direction.

“Childhood obesity will not end simply by ensuring that gym classes are taught and that nutrition is changed in our schools. Although these are two key components, which I have been working on for years now, the answer is not that simple”, Ortiz stated.

Ortiz believes that the passage of his legislation aimed at combating childhood obesity is the necessary ingredient missing in the Governor’s plan. Ortiz’s legislation includes:

  • A.7941 – requiring BMI screenings in public schools,
  • A.3825 – mandatory physical education in elementary schools,
  • A.3826 – diabetes risk analysis screening in public schools,
  • A.6376 – the “fat tax” bill which would tax certain junk food and drinks, video games, and movies to contribute to the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program Fund,
  • A.9031 – which prohibits certain restaurants from serving food containing artificial trans fat, and
  • A.1192-A – which would require menu labeling of calories, fat and sodium content.

“I congratulate the Governor on incorporating my initiatives into his plan. However, in order to combat childhood obesity successfully and effectively we need to implement a comprehensive plan of attack. “I believe that including my other legislation will make the Governor's plan complete", Ortiz stated.