May 15, 2018

Health Community Lines Up to Oppose Farm Bill Draft
House to vote on H.R. 2 this week

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives is poised to vote on House Resolution 2, the draft version of the new "Farm Bill." Nationwide, health advocates are alarmed that, as written, the bill poses an extreme danger to the ability of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to serve vulnerable populations. Health policy experts believe provisions in the bill pertaining to SNAP will lead to greater hunger and poverty, as well as reduced economic growth and productivity. The section of the draft bill creating the most concern stipulates that SNAP recipients must work or attend job training classes for about 20 hours each week or lose access to the program. 

The Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) response to the draft bill cites potential effects of the change, including: 
  • A "cliff effect" on health for children of SNAP recipients, as they would potentially be denied access to related anti-hunger programs including school breakfast and lunch.
  • The draft bill cuts benefits for SNAP recipients who are already in danger of having to choose between food and adequate heat, housing or other essential services. 
  • The proposal also vastly expands the number of recipients who are subjected to more restrictive SNAP cutoffs by extending age limits and thus the number of older citizens affected. 
In a recent statement, the American Public Health Association (APHA) also warns of the negative effects of the draft bill: " These austere measures would cause millions of low-income Americans to be pushed out of the program, consequently increasing the number of Americans experiencing food insecurity and poor nutrition." 

The APHA has generated a contact form to urge representatives to vote "NO" on the House Farm Bill. Click below to contact your representative.

Latest Legislative News from Springfield

Following approval in the Illinois Senate,  SB 2572 , the  Minutes-per-Week Physical Education (P.E.) bill,  has been assigned to the School Curriculum & Policies Committee in the House and will have a hearing on Thursday, May 17th. The original bill was previously amended to remove a limitation on P.E. waivers, and reduced the requirement of 225 minutes of P.E. for secondary schools to 150 minutes. CLOCC policy staff have evaluated the new language and determined that the revised bill has sufficient merits; The Consortium joins other Illinois public health advocates in supporting this measure. Click here to create a witness slip to support SB 2572.

The Urban Agricultural Zones bill ( HB 3418) was passed by Senate Revenue Committee and now awaits a reading in the full Senate. This measure  would incentivize new urban agriculture zones, capable of producing locally-grown fruits and vegetables, in food deserts and high-hardship communities. S ales tax from agriculture products would be designated for the urban agriculture zone fund and specified for a county, municipality or school district. Property taxes on the agriculture zones would also be protected from increases. Representative Sonya Harper (D-Chicago) has a petition for residents to add their name, urging Illinois legislators to quickly pass the measure. Interested residents should contact Harper's constituent services office at 773-925-6580 or to add their name to the petition.

We encourage CLOCC partners to use the Legislative Actions page to view descriptions and status updates of bills being monitored by the Consortium and steps you can take to support strong health policy.

National Menu Labeling Requirements Become Reality

The mandatory display of calorie counts on restaurant menus went into effect on May 7th, eight years after the measure was passed as part of the Affordable Care Act and following more than a dozen years of extensive advocacy from the public health sector.

The law specifies that restaurants with 20 or more locations must display calorie counts on their menus. With Americans currently consuming nearly a third of their calories outside of the home, U.S. Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, stated, "Studies suggest that access to clear and consistent information about calories in restaurant items can help reduce calorie intake, which over time could make a difference in obesity rates." ( Read full statement.)

In its support of menu labeling, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) cites a recent review of nearly 30 studies from the Cochrane Collaboration, which found that menu labeling helps people reduce their calories by about 50 calories per meal, on average.  Menu labeling also has been shown to spur restaurants to reduce the calories in their foods. 

"Americans deserve to know what they're getting when ordering for themselves and their families at chain restaurants, supermarkets, and other food establishments," said CSPI vice president for nutrition Margo G. Wootan. "Menu labeling allows people an easy way to cut hundreds of calories or more with simple, split-second decisions. ( Read full statement.)

Menu Labeling in the News

Did you catch the news?
A New Look and Feel for CLOCC's 5-4-3-2-1 Go!®

As part of a community project funded by Kohl's Cares and  recently announced by CLOCC and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, the Consortium has undertaken a refresh of  5-4-3-2-1 Go!®, the Consortium's flagship public education message for children and families. In addition to adding brighter colors and updating the images on the flyers and posters, the message points were refined to reflect the latest, evidence-driven suggestions related to screen time and dairy consumption. 

Billboards and Chicago Transit Authority bus shelter and train platform advertisements featuring the new look are now running in select communities to reinforce  5-4-3-2-1 Go! messaging being promoted through the Chicago Park District.

Partners wishing to download the new flyers in English or Spanish can do so at, by completing the short online questionnaire.

Ride of Silence to Partner with Vision Zero Chicago

On Wednesday evening, May 16th, Chicago cyclists will join fellow cyclists around the world on an annual bicycle ride in silence to raise awareness of cyclists' right to ride on the road and to honor the fallen cyclists no longer with us. The 2018 Chicago Ride of Silence™ will collaborate with the Vision Zero Chicago initiative that aims to eliminate traffic crashes that cause death and serious injury through an equitable distribution of resources and inclusive community engagement. 

As part of CLOCC's Blueprint for Accelerating Progress in Childhood Obesity Prevention in Chicago, the Consortium works to ensure that city streets and sidewalks support walking, biking, and other forms of physical activity for leisure and transportation.

Visit to View or Post Events, Job Openings and Volunteer Opportunities continues to serve as the Consortium's hub for the latest obesity-prevention news, resources, events and volunteer and job opportunities in public health. The site also features forms for organizations to post their own events, job openings and volunteer opportunities. Upon submission, entries will be approved by a CLOCC staff member and posted the next business day. Contact  with questions! 

5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources

  • The AARP Community Challenge funds projects that build momentum for local change to improve livability for all residents. In 2017, the AARP Community Challenge awarded 88 grants. The application deadline is May 16th. 
  • CDC's Division for Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) announced the availability of Fiscal Year 2018 funds to implement Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH). This 5-year program is to improve health, prevent chronic diseases, and reduce health disparities among racial and ethnic populations with the highest risk, or burden, of chronic disease. Funding will support recipients that 1) Have a history of successfully working with an established coalition who addresses health or other disparities, 2) Select strategies that address the health disparities in the community based on a health needs assessment process, 3) Have organizational capacity to implement locally tailored evidence-based and practice-based strategies. A letter of intent is due June 11th. Click here for details

T he Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is a nationally recognized leader for community-based obesity prevention. We support, coordinate, and unite partners to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children and families. Our multi-sector approach emerged in Chicago and can be adapted for use anywhere.