82R10299 BPG-D
  By: Veasey, Naishtat H.C.R. No. 87
         WHEREAS, During the past four decades, as Americans have
  increased their consumption of highly processed foods, obesity
  rates have soared among all age groups and have increased more than
  fourfold among children ages 6 to 11; today, nearly a third of
  children and adolescents are overweight or obese, which places them
  at higher risk for a host of serious illnesses; obese children are
  being diagnosed with health problems previously considered to be
  adult illnesses, including heart disease, stroke, asthma, and
  certain types of cancer; childhood obesity alone costs the United
  States an estimated $14 billion in health care expenses, and it is
  estimated that the obesity epidemic overall costs the nation $117
  billion per year in direct medical expenses and indirect costs; and
         WHEREAS, Low-income individuals are particularly at risk for
  obesity-related diseases; accordingly, the United States
  Department of Agriculture has initiated an incentives-based
  program to promote healthier eating among participants in the
  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as the
  food stamp program; and
         WHEREAS, The 2008 federal Farm Bill authorized $20 million
  for USDA to test whether incentives to buy fresh produce can
  increase the purchase of healthy foods; the Healthy Incentives
  Pilot is being conducted in Hampden County, Massachusetts, where
  7,500 randomly selected SNAP households will receive a 30-cent
  bonus for every dollar they spend on fruits and vegetables using
  their SNAP Electronic Benefit Transfer cards; and
         WHEREAS, Processed foods high in fat and sugar are less
  expensive than fresh produce, and this pilot program represents a
  significant step toward reducing the financial barriers that
  prevent low-income residents from adopting healthier eating
  habits; and
         WHEREAS, Over the course of a year, more than one in seven
  Americans participate in SNAP, half of them being children, and it
  is vital that this program promote healthy eating as well as food
  security; in a 2008 report, the U.S. Government Accountability
  Office found encouraging results from studies examining the
  effectiveness of financial incentives to increase fruit and
  vegetable consumption among SNAP households; and
         WHEREAS, The Healthy Incentives Pilot has the potential to
  positively influence the diets of low-income individuals, thereby
  reducing obesity and its attendant health care costs, and with such
  critical outcomes at stake, the program should not be limited to
  just one community; now, therefore, be it
         RESOLVED, That the 82nd Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby respectfully urge the United States Congress to expand the
  Healthy Incentives Pilot to communities across the country; and, be
  it further
         RESOLVED, That the Texas secretary of state forward official
  copies of this resolution to the president of the United States, to
  the president of the Senate and the speaker of the House of
  Representatives of the United States Congress, to the secretary of
  agriculture, and to all the members of the Texas delegation to
  Congress with the request that this resolution be entered in the
  Congressional Record as a memorial to the Congress of the United
  States of America.