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The Tennessean reports the Tennessee Obesity Task Force is asking the state legislature will make moves “to ensure that all schools are complying with the state’s 90-minutes-a-week mandate for physical education, enact a tax on sugar-sweetened soft drinks, and increase fines for speeding in school zones.

According to the story, “The soda tax bill, as it has been dubbed, would place a 1-cent-per-ounce tax on bottled, sugar-sweetened beverages purchased at convenience and grocery stores, but reduce the state food tax by 1 percent.”

And, “Increasing the fine for speeding in a school zone by $50 could make it safer for kids to walk and bike to school. In addition, the money would go to the Safe Routes to School program, which encourages exercise through walking or biking to schools.”

The story notes that “two-thirds of Tennesseans are either obese or overweight, producing health issues that some estimate cost the state nearly a half-billion dollars annually. Tennessee was the fourth-most-obese state last year, an improvement from the second spot in 2009. The 500-plus-member Tennessee Obesity Task Force creates and lobbies for policies that address those grim statistics.”
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