(1) The Department of Health shall promote healthy lifestyles to reduce the prevalence of excess weight gain and obesity in Florida by implementing appropriate physical activity and nutrition programs that are directed towards all Floridians by:
(a) Using all appropriate media to promote maximum public awareness of the latest research on healthy lifestyles and chronic diseases and disseminating relevant information through a statewide clearinghouse relating to wellness, physical activity, and nutrition and their impact on chronic diseases and disabling conditions.
(b) Providing technical assistance, training, and resources on healthy lifestyles and chronic diseases to the public, county health departments, health care providers, school districts, and other persons or entities, including faith-based organizations, that request such assistance to promote physical activity, nutrition, and healthy lifestyle programs.
(c) Developing, implementing, and using all available research methods to collect data, including, but not limited to, population-specific data, and track the incidence and effects of weight gain, obesity, and related chronic diseases. The department shall include an evaluation and data collection component in all programs as appropriate.
(d) Partnering with the Department of Education, local communities, school districts, and other entities to encourage Florida schools to promote activities during and after school to help students meet a minimum goal of 60 minutes of activity per day.
(e) Partnering with the Department of Education, school districts, and the Florida Sports Foundation to develop a program that recognizes schools whose students demonstrate excellent physical fitness or fitness improvement.
(f) Collaborating with other state agencies to develop policies and strategies for preventing and treating obesity, which shall be incorporated into programs administered by each agency and shall include promoting healthy lifestyles of employees of each agency.
(g) Advising, in accordance with s. 456.081, health care practitioners licensed in this state regarding the morbidity, mortality, and costs associated with the condition of being overweight or obese, informing such practitioners of clinical best practices for preventing and treating obesity, and encouraging practitioners to counsel their patients regarding the adoption of healthy lifestyles.
(h) Maximizing all local, state, and federal funding sources, including grants, public-private partnerships, and other mechanisms, to strengthen the department’s current physical activity and nutrition programs and to enhance similar county health department programs.