(FOX Carolina) South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott and Alabama Democratic Senator Doug Jones have introduced a new bipartisan bill that looks at preventing, and combating obesity in the United States.
The legislation, dubbed the 'Better Tools For Healthy Living Act,' is designed to empower state and local governments with tools to start the journey toward hindering and fighting significant weight gain.
According to a press release from Senator Scott's office, studies estimate more than 20% of medical spending in the United States can be attributable to obesity.
“In order to truly improve our nation’s health care system, we must work to lower costs and strengthen preventive medicine,” Senator Scott said. “Nearly 40 percent of American adults are obese, which shows just how important tackling this issue truly is.”
Obesity is linked to a variety of chronic diseases like type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
“Helping people develop healthier lifestyles and preventing obesity will help lower the cost of health care for everyone,” said Senator Jones. “By providing states with the most effective public health policy, we can make real strides in lowering the rate of obesity.”
The legislation specifically asks that the director of the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) create a guide of sorts that lays out effective strategies to help states and localities increase efforts to combating obesity.
The guide will focus on strategies that have track records of success in both lowering health care, and preventing harmful diseases.
Scott and Jones' act also asks that the CDC provide technical assistance to state and local health departments. They're also asked to assist Indian tribes and tribal organizations.
The 'Better Tools For Healthy Living Act' will most likely be a part of a larger health care package that's currently being drafted by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Persons Committee.