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Fighting Obesity and Keeping Americans Healthy

The movement to fight childhood obesity goes beyond embracing new habits like eating healthier foods or going for more bike rides. It’s also about empowering you to make better choices to keep yourself and your family healthy.

Six months ago, President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act, the historic health care law which makes affordable coverage and preventive services a top priority.

It places a big emphasis on preventive health because we know that too many people don’t get the preventive care they need in order to stop diseases like obesity before they start. Chronic diseases, such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are responsible for seven of ten deaths among Americans each year and account for 75% of the nation’s health spending. The sad truth is that these diseases are often preventable.

Here are some ways in which the health care law helps you and your family focus on preventing disease, and helps us solve the epidemic of childhood obesity:

Coverage for Kids and Young Adults. Most insurers will be banned from denying coverage to children due to pre-existing conditions. And if an insurance plan covers dependents, they’ll have to cover most young adults up to age 26.

Affordable preventive services. If you or your family enroll in a new health plan after September 23, that plan will be required to cover certain recommended preventive services without charging you a copay, co-insurance, or deductible. Services include screenings and counseling to prevent and address common childhood problems like obesity and adolescent depression.

Covered services include (but are not limited to):

  • Obesity screening and counseling for children and adults
  • Diet counseling for adults at higher risk for chronic disease
  • Height, Weight, and Body Mass Index measurements for children
  • Immunization for children and adults
  • Alcohol and Drug Use assessments for adolescents
  • Tobacco Use screening for all adults and cessation interventions for tobacco users
  • Vision screening for children

You can find a list of these services here.

Services for pregnant women. The new law and regulations make sure that more mothers have access to services they need to ensure a healthy pregnancy. (Learn more about Healthy Moms and starting your child on a path to a healthy life by eating well during pregnancy and breastfeeding.)

For more information, please visit