A Houston/Harris County Childhood Obesity Prevention Collaborative 
February 2015  /  Issue XXVIII
In This Issue

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Healthy Living Matters Makes Connections in the CapitolHLMatCapitol


On Friday, February 6th, 2015 the Healthy Living Matters (HLM) team made its first visit to the Texas Legislature since the initial briefing on our early findings relating to childhood obesity in Harris County back in 2013. This time, we added our Community Action Plan and our specific legislative recommendations to the findings. We conducted several small meetings with key legislative staff and a meeting with the Texas Department of Agriculture, including the newly elected Commissioner Sid Miller.

HCPHES & HLM Collaborative discussed school nutrition policy with Texas Department of Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller

We topped off our day with an HLM legislative briefing hosted by State Representative Alma Allen. We had over 50 people attend the event where our Chair, Dr. Ann Smith Barnes spoke passionately about how policy impacts nutrition, physical activity and overall health. Chris Browne, HLM Vice-Chair, added the perspective on how policy related to the built environment impacts outdoor recreation and physical activity. Kelly Reed-Hirsch spoke about the resources of the Texas School Health Advisory Committee (TSHAC) to schools and legislators, and Tim Schauer discussed the draft legislation that State Rep. Alma Allen was developing with our support.

Specifically, we hope to have at least four bills relating to childhood obesity filed and moving through the process in 2015:
  •  Strategic planning directives for state agencies relating to hunger, nutrition and childhood obesity (Texas Dept. of Agriculture, Texas Education Agency and the Health and Human Services Commission)
  •  Education related items:
    • Increase junior high PE requirements from 4 semesters to 6 semesters
    • Increase high school PE requirements from 1 to 1.5 semesters
    • Restore high school .5 semester health class requirement
    • Direct Texas Education Agency to develop age-appropriate recess policy and outdoor play guidelines
  • Development of state guidelines for wellness programs for administrators, teachers and child care providers, including developing incentives and recognition programs for Healthy Schools and Healthy Childcare
  • Pilot Program for "Double Dollars" at Farmers Market using SNAP and/or WIC benefits.
Take the VegOut! Challenge this MarchVegOut
Eating plenty of fresh produce is one of the simplest ways to lead a healthier lifestyle. That is why in March, Recipe for Success Foundation will host the third-annual VegOut! Challenge in honor of National Nutrition Month. Participants nationwide will step up to the plate... and pile it with veggies, 30 different veggies within 30 days that is! Entire schools, companies, families and friends can all take part together by vegging out as a team to make healthy eating fun. Register for the 2015 VegOut! Challenge by visiting vegoutwithrfs.org. For more info, email vegout@recipe4succss.org.
Featured Resource: Building Healthy Places ToolkitFeaturedResource

The Urban Land Institute's Building Healthy Places Toolkit: Strategies for Enhancing Health in the Built Environment outlines evidence-supported opportunities for enhancing health outcomes in real estate developments. Developers, owners, property managers, designers, investors, and others involved in real estate decision making can use the report's recommendations and strategies to create places that contribute to healthier people and communities, and to enhance and preserve value by meeting growing desires for health-promoting places. Click here to download a copy of this great resource. 



Best Complete Streets Policies of 2014 Full Report   


School Breakfast: Making it Work in Large School Districts Full Report

Food & Nutrition in Texas: What You Need to Know Full Report

State and National School Snack Policies: How They Compare Fact Sheet

Recommendations for Responsible Food Marketing for Children Full Report

Houston & Harris County State of Health (2015-2016) Full Report


Building a Healthier Future Summit 

February 25-27, 2015 

Washington Hilton, Washington, DC

More Information 


Doctors for Change February Forum: Linking Health Outcomes to Early Education  

February 26, 2015, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

University Eye Institute, 4901 Calhoun Rd, Houston, TX 77004

More Information 


Expanded Learning Opportunities (ELO) Day at the Texas Capitol 

February 26, 2015 from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM 

Texas Capitol, 1100 Congress Ave., Austin, TX 78701 

More Information


Latino Health Summit

February 27, 2015 from 8:00 AM - 3:00 PM

University of Houston, College of Education - Stephen Powell Farish Hall, KIVA Room 101


Building the Next Generation of Healthy Communities

March 4-6, 2015 

Hilton Anatole, 2201 N. Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75207 

To view more events, visit our Calendar of Events webpage