The Campaign to End Obesity

Today, two-thirds of U.S. adults and nearly one in three children struggle because they are overweight or have obesity.  The effects of the nation’s obesity epidemic are immense:  taxpayers, businesses, communities and individuals spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year due to obesity, including nearly $200 billion in medical costs.  Obesity is the reason that the current generation of youth is predicted to live a shorter life than their parents. 

Much can be done to reverse the epidemic, yet important opportunities to tackle obesity at the national policy level -- including changes that enable more Americans to eat healthy and be active, as well as those that provide appropriate medical treatment for patients -- have gone largely unmet.  The Campaign works to fill this gap.  By bringing together leaders from across industry, academia and public health with policymakers and their advisors, the Campaign provides the information and guidance that decision-makers need to make policy changes that will reverse one of the nation’s costliest and most prevalent diseases.



The Campaign to End Obesity
Ribble, Pocan team up on long-term approach to medical research funding
Green Bay Press-Gazette, 4.9.14
Rep. Reid Ribble calls himself a “budgeteer” and can often be heard ruminating on the fiscal benefits of such banal-sounding topics as inter-modal transportation. So when the Green Bay-area Republican decided to tackle the issues of chronic diabetes, obesity and Alzheimer’s, he approached it as a number-cruncher. The product of his work — the “Long-Term Studies of Comprehensive Outcomes and Returns for the Economy Act” — was slated to be introduced Wednesday. The bill would provide $5 million annually to create and run a division within the Congressional Budget Office that would focus on predicting the costs — and benefits — of legislation in the long term, say 20, 30 or even 40 years out. The intent is that those predictions would show that investing in areas like medical research pays for itself in the long run.
'Childhood obesity costs $19,000 per child,' researchers say
Medical News Today, 4.7.14
According to the latest estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one third of kids and adolescents in the US are overweight or obese. And now, researchers looking at total lifetime medical costs have estimated that, per head, childhood obesity costs $19,000 more than lifetime costs for normal weight children. The researchers, led by Eric Andrew Finkelstein, PhD, MHA, from the Duke Global Health Institute and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore, publish their results in the journal Pediatrics. "Reducing childhood obesity is a public health priority that has substantial health and economic benefits," says Finkelstein. "These estimates provide the financial consequences of inaction and the potential medical savings from obesity prevention efforts that successfully reduce or delay obesity onset."
America's Fattest And Thinnest Cities: Find Out Where Your City Falls
Medical Daily, 4.7.14
With initiatives including the "Campaign to End Obesity" and Michelle Obama’s "Let’s Move!" campaign, the United States has started to make a unified effort to slim down. However, recent data shows it may not be enough. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a poll gauging the nation’s fattest and thinnest cities, has revealed that obesity rates in America’s largest cities continue to reach over 15 percent. "Rising obesity rates have significant health consequences for both individuals and communities of all sizes. Numerous social, environmental, economic, and individual factors may all contribute to physical inactivity and consumption of less healthy foods, two lifestyle behaviors linked to obesity," Healthways Lifestyle Solutions Director Janna Lacatell said in a statement. "In order to combat the trend and encourage individuals to make healthier choices, community-based policy and environmental approaches can, and should, be used."
No real progress on child obesity, latest report says
USA Today, 4.7.14
Reports of significant progress against child obesity in the United States have been premature, say the latest researchers to take a look at the data. Overall child obesity rates are flat, and rates of severe obesity are rising, says a study published Monday by JAMA Pediatrics. And the idea that rates are plunging among preschoolers — heralded in a study and press release from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention just weeks ago — did not stand up when researchers scrutinized a few extra years of data, says lead author Asheley Cockrell Skinner, assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. Skinner says she and co-author Joseph Skelton, of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, looked at the same data CDC used from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Study: Two Wash. cities on opposite ends of U.S. obesity scale
Seattle Times, 4.9.14
Newly released data bestow a peculiar distinction upon Washington: We’re the only state with cities ranked in the top five and the bottom five in the nation for obesity. Last week, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released its data for 2012 and 2013. The Index is based on surveys with American adults in 189 metro areas on a variety of health issues. Among the findings: Bellingham is one of the nation’s thinnest communities, and Yakima among the most obese. Just 18.7 percent of adults in the Bellingham area reported a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or higher, which is considered obese. That ranks Bellingham as having the fourth-lowest obesity rate among all metro areas in the study. Surely not a coincidence, the data also show that 60 percent of Bellingham residents get regular exercise — sixth highest in the nation. But head over the mountains to Yakima, and a very different picture emerges.
More news

New Release: The New Markets Tax Credit: Opportunities for Investment
in Healthy Foods and Physical Activity

Click here for additional information

CBO Scoring Misses Billions of Dollars in Potential Long-Term Savings from Effective Obesity Prevention Policies

Click here for additional information.

Read More

To learn more about changes in federal policy that will enable more Americans to eat healthy and be active, as well as those that provide appropriate medical treatment for patients, visit the Campaign to End Obesity Action Fund's website by clicking here.  

* In 2010, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported that nearly 20 percent of the increase in U.S. health care spending (from 1987‐2007) was caused by obesity.

* The annual health costs related to obesity in the U.S. are nearly $200 billion, and nearly 21 percent of U.S. medical costs can be attributed on obesity, according to research released by the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Sign up for our free Obesity News Summary, published weekly. Stay current on the issues and our progress.

Help us advance America's journey to healthy weight. Make a contribution to the nonprofit Campaign to End Obesity.


More obesity facts   


805 15th Street, N.W., Suite 650, Washington, D.C. 20005 202-466-8100
A 501(c)(3) Organization.
©2014 Campaign to End Obesity