The Associated Press – JANUARY 05: U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings speaks during a press conference on January 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. Cummings said he believes obesity has become a national health crisis, adding that the government should provide support for individuals struggling with weight.
The Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has urged the federal government to support the CBC’s proposal for a National Obesity Strategy.
The strategy, which would focus on prevention and early intervention, would address the “complexity of the obesity epidemic and its devastating effects on people’s health,” the CBC said in a statement.
“This strategy should include an increase in the funding of programs to reduce obesity and support those who struggle with obesity,” CBC Executive Director David M. Smith said in the statement.
“We look forward to working with the new Administration to implement the strategy that the CBC calls for.”
Cummings’ plan would support the $5 billion that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has proposed to combat the obesity crisis, but it would not provide support to individuals struggling to lose weight.
Cummings has repeatedly called for increased funding for the CDC to combat obesity.
He recently called on the CDC and other agencies to work to identify ways to improve nutrition and obesity, saying “we need a new national strategy to confront this problem and get us back on track.”
The CBC has been critical of the federal health care law, which President Donald Trump signed into law in March.
The law requires insurance companies to cover all procedures for patients with pre-existing conditions, and mandates that insurers provide coverage for mental health treatment.
According to a report from the Congressional Black Commission, more than 40 percent of black Americans are currently uninsured, compared to 18 percent of white Americans.