(410 ILCS 115/5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly makes all of the following findings:
        (1) Nearly 25% of Illinois adults are obese and 37%
are overweight, 62% of Illinois adults in total.
        (2) The percentage of normal-weight Illinois adults
has steadily decreased as the percentage who are overweight or obese has steadily increased.
        (3) More than 31% of Illinois children ages 10
through 17 years are considered overweight or obese.
        (4) A majority (56%) of publicly insured children
are overweight or obese (the highest state prevalence in the nation) and nearly 2 in 5 (39%) black, non-Hispanic children are overweight or obese (the third highest state prevalence).
        (5) Today's overweight and obese children are likely
to become tomorrow's overweight and health-impaired adults, at risk for premature death.
        (6) Being overweight and obese puts people at
increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, certain cancers, hypertension, dyslipidemia (high cholesterol or triglycerides or both), stroke, liver and gallbladder disease, sleep apnea and respiratory problems, osteoarthritis, and gynecological problems.
        (7) Overweight and obesity-related diseases cause
premature death.
        (8) The economic costs associated with treating
these diseases is substantial and increasing, accounting for more than 9% of total health care costs, approximately half of which are born by public resources via Medicare and Medicaid and the majority of the remainder born by employers.
        (9) Obese people suffer more injuries and
disabilities and have more non-productive work days in total, creating loss of earnings for Illinois employees and loss of productivity for Illinois employers.
        (10) Research has shown that 27% of health care
charges for adults over age 40 are associated with people being physically inactive, overweight, or obese.
        (11) From 1987 to 2001, obesity-related spending
accounted for an estimated 27% of the increase in inflation-adjusted per capita health spending.
        (12) Research has shown that each additional day of
physical activity per week can reduce medical charges by 4.7%.
        (13) The non-economic costs of being overweight or
obese that is experienced by Illinois citizens are immeasurable in terms of pain, mobility, self-esteem, bias and stigma, the grief associated with the premature death of loved ones, and other quality of life issues.
        (14) Food and exercise habits are strongly linked to
the food and exercise habits of the communities in which the individuals live, work, attend school, and socialize.
        (15) Individual and community food and exercise
habits are strongly linked to environmental factors, such as access to healthy food and safe opportunities for physical activity.
        (16) Public health interventions focusing on healthy
eating, physical activity, and environmental change to facilitate these behaviors have been shown to be successful in reducing obesity and promoting healthy weight and physical activity among children and adults. Communities in Illinois are developing and implementing promising models that should be evaluated and supported.
        (17) Obesity is a significant contributing factor to
many chronic diseases faced by Illinois residents and that obesity and its effects on human health are best addressed in an evidence-based, holistic manner, including policy change, environmental change, and community public health and wellness efforts.
        (18) The General Assembly has recognized the
importance of studying obesity and passed the Obesity Study and Prevention Fund Act in 2004. The Illinois State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) identified obesity and physical activity as strategic priority health conditions that demand action, including without limitation the following:
            (A) Increased efforts to educate the public on
the health risks associated with obesity and poor nutrition, effective methods for improving nutrition and physical activity, and resources to help individuals to adopt healthy lifestyles.
            (B) Promoting changes in State and local
policies designed to support healthy eating and physical activity, including improving community access to healthy food and safe opportunities for physical activity.
(Source: P.A. 96-155, eff. 8-7-09.)