Press Release
From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2008
Contact: Tiffany Champion, (210) 733-6604

Senator Van de Putte Serves as Keynote Speaker at the Center for Disease Control's 2008 National Summit on Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control

(ATLANTA, GA) -- Senator Leticia Van de Putte served as the keynote speaker at the 2008 National Summit on Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control during the opening meeting held in Atlanta, Georgia today. The meeting, Policy and Environmental Change Initiatives, highlighted state and local initiatives related to obesity prevention and control.

As Texas has implemented promising and innovative measures to address obesity, Senator Van de Putte presented several newly initiated policies in Texas, including: the diabetes mellitus registry, a centralized database resource to allow researchers across the state to determine the root causes of diabetes; the creation of the Interagency Obesity Council, a group that will monitor and evaluate obesity prevention efforts in the state of Texas; and the Physical Education bill, which requires students in grades K-8 to participate in daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes as part of the district's physical education curriculum.

The Summit, which is co-sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Society for Law Medicine & Ethics is a working meeting, where every participant will have the opportunity to engage in discussions intended to form the basis for future dialogue and produce a National Action Agenda for implementation in preventing and controlling obesity. A number of public officials from Texas are attending the summit, including Dr. Adela Gonzales, executive director for the center for South Texas Programs, a sector of the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Senator Van de Putte and Dr. Gonzales will join other local and state officials in an effort to develop further programs for Texas.

"In the city of San Antonio, we are experiencing an obesity epidemic, which has led to an inordinate amount of obesity-related health problems, said Van de Putte. "We must act now to combat this crisis. We simply cannot afford to raise a generation of children shackled by obesity - their lives and the future of Texas depend on it."