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 an estimated $168 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
Obesity rate drops for Nevada's youngest students
Las Vegas Review Journal, 5.16.13 Nevada kindergartners have a weighty problem, according to a statewide survey released Thursday of more than 8,000 families with children starting school. Almost a third of the state’s youngest students are overweight or obese, found the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy, based at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Local researchers and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree that the 29.6 percent of Silver State kindergartners who are overweight reflects a national public health problem likely caused by increasingly sedentary lifestyles and a national rise in children with Type II diabetes. But the figure is a decrease in the percent of Nevada’s overweight kindergartners from 2008 to 2009. When the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy began five years ago to study the health of the state’s youngest students, about 8 percent more of the state’s kindergartners were too heavy for their heights under a calculation called the Body Mass Index.
Beyond Farmers' Markets
National Journal, 5.16.13 Sarah Fritschner's first big accomplishment in her new job was selling half a cow. The coordinator of Louisville Farm to Table, Fritschner is an advocate for the kind of emphasis on local food sources that is all the rage lately in foodie circles. But she also fills a critical missing link in the food-supply chain that has prevented the farm-to-table movement from going mainstream in most of the country. While many consumers may like the idea of sticking it to agribusiness, supporting local growers, and lowering the carbon footprint of their food choices, meat and produce don't magically beam their way from farms to tables. That's where Fritschner comes in. A former journalist who spent several decades covering food issues for The Courier-Journal, she took on the role of "public interest broker" in 2010 when the city launched its Farm to Table program, the only one of its kind in the country.
Maine Senate to consider exercise requirement to prevent obesity
Associated Press, 5.15.13 A bill intended to prevent obesity among Maine schoolchildren will be up for debate in the state Senate. The bill came up on Wednesday but senators set it aside for future debate. It would require students from kindergarten to grade five to participate in a minimum of 30 minutes of daily physical activity at school. Teachers could restrict a student's participation in physical activity it presents a danger to the student or others. The state Education Department took a neutral stand on the bill. The Maine School Nutrition Association supported it, saying the focus of obesity prevention so far has been food, and the bill starts to address the role of physical activity as well. The Maine School Superintendents Association said it was concerned about another mandate on schools.
Food Policy Could Expand Access to Healthy Produce, Support Local Farmers
Huffington Post, 5.15.13 Consider this: More than two million American families live more than a mile from the nearest supermarket, and do not have access to a vehicle. Low-income neighborhoods have roughly half as many supermarkets as wealthy neighborhoods. Meanwhile, only 8 percent of African Americans live in an area with a supermarket nearby, compared with 31 percent of whites. It's not just that it's harder for low-income and people of color to get to a supermarket with fresh produce. It's also that there is a proliferation of convenience stores in these areas -- stores that offer mostly preservative-laden, high-fat, high-sugar foods that contribute to health problems like obesity and diabetes.
Let’s talk about childhood obesity
Philly.com, 5.14.13 Not so easy, is it? Childhood obesity affects 1 in every 3 children, but most parents are uncomfortable talking with their children about weight, not knowing what to say or how to say it. For many of us, questions about a child’s weight are particularly difficult to answer, since feelings about overweight and obesity are often complicated by both personal issues and the conflicting messages communicated about weight through media and society at large. In fact, a WebMD/Sanford Health survey found that parents of teens find it more difficult to talk about weight with their child than talking about sex, drugs, alcohol or smoking. The issue is compounded by the fact that there are limited resources to help parents respond to their children’s questions about weight. Parents looking online or in a local library for information on how to address a child’s weight would be hard pressed to come up with something that is useful or goes beyond the basic rhetoric about eating less and exercising more.
Cornell, Iowa share $10.6M obesity, hypertension grant
Cornell Chronicle, 5.15.13 A Cornell researcher collaborating with colleagues at the University of Iowa is part of a five-year, $10.6 million grant to study the role of the brain in links between obesity and high blood pressure. More than two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, and one-third of Americans have high blood pressure, both of which lead to cardiovascular diseases. Obesity also contributes to diabetes, which further increases risk of cardiovascular disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. While researchers have long recognized the connection between obesity and hypertension, the causes behind these associations are not well understood. The “program project” grant, from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funds three separate but synergistic projects that will focus on neural pathways and mechanisms in the brain that lead to obesity and obesity-induced hypertension.
Taking a Long-Term View of Childhood Obesity Prevention | Commentary
Roll Call, 5/6/2013 By Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, D-Ohio, represents the state’s 11th District. Jeffrey Poltawsky is vice president of the American Family Children’s Hospital at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics in Madison, Wis.
Rates of obesity among American children continue to be at pandemic levels, and according to a new study released by the Campaign to End Obesity this week, obesity costs our country not only its health but also some of its wealth, driving up health care and related costs by about $450 billion each year. The other costs of obesity are perhaps more obvious — children who struggle with their weight can be the subject of taunting and suffer emotional distress, and more often than not, they become obese adults and suffer one or more dangerous health side effects such as diabetes or heart disease. The problem is particularly pronounced in America’s communities of color and among those who are economically disadvantaged.
Fit for Our Future Gala and Surgeon General Showcase DC Student Efforts to Combat Obesity Community leaders, advocates, teachers, students, and others will be joined by Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin at the Discovery Communications Global Headquarters in Silver Spring, MD, for the first-ever “Fit for Our Future Gala” on Thursday, December 6. The Discovery Channel and the Campaign to End Obesity will recognize and award efforts by students at three DC public schools to combat obesity through education. The event will feature a video competition in which students attempt to educate their peers about steps they can take to prevent or address obesity and the pervasiveness of this disease.
Campaign Endorses Legislation Introduced by Representative Fudge to Prevent Childhood Obesity In recognition of Childhood Obesity Awareness month, Representative Marcia Fudge (D-OH) today introduced the Measures to Prevent Childhood Obesity Act. With the legislation, vaccination records would include important body mass index (BMI) information for children. Additionally, the bill would provide grants to states to use this standardized data to help measure the rate and trends of obesity among children as well as providing information on what efforts States could be doing to help prevent the obesity epidemic.
Campaign Named as a top Twitter Site for U.S. Politicians to Follow The Campaign to End Obesity has been named as one of the top 50 nonprofits for politicians to follow on Twitter by Nonprofit Tech2.0. Ranked 15th on list, the Campaign is the only Twitter feed focusing on obesity named by the site which produces “A Social Media Guide for Nonprofits.”
Campaign Names U.S. Soccer Foundation President & CEO to Board of Directors The Campaign to End Obesity today announced the addition of Ed Foster-Simeon to its Board of Directors. Foster-Simeon, the president and CEO of the U.S. Soccer Foundation, is a champion of soccer as a vehicle for youth development and social change and brings significant expertise from the private sector.
House Republicans Raid Prevention Fund This afternoon, despite a veto threat from the White House, the House of Representatives voted 215 to 195 to approve legislation that would extend the interest rate paid on federal student loans. The legislation was paid for by cutting funding to the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the Affordable Care Act.
NewPublicHealh.org: The Cost of Obesity and ROI of Prevention
A new report, Assessing the Economics of Obesity and Obesity Interventions, by researchers from the Campaign to End Obesity, looks at the costs of the obesity epidemic and the possible array of interventions that could prevent obesity and save the country money.
Today, the Campaign to End Obesity expressed concerns over new findings in a report by Cornell University researchers. According to the report, “The Medical Care Costs of Obesity,” it is now believed that the total cost of health care associated with U.S. obesity is $190.2 billion a year, or 20.6 percent of total U.S. health spending – twice as much as previously reported.
With primary care medicine facing ever increasing pressures—fewer doctors to treat more patients and a continual maze of restrictions on reimbursement—primary care practitioners are trying to diagnose and treat obesity with one hand tied behind their backs. The result, unfortunately, is that for what is likely the nation’s costliest disease, strains on coverage have been yet another needless hurdle to getting patients diagnosed and treated in a clinical environment.
A comprehensive approach to diagnosing and treating obesity is just good medicine, and physicians need good reimbursement policies to make this practicepractical. Fortunately,a recent rulingout from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is one bright spot in beginning to change this trend. CMS has ruled that it will cover services for high intensity obesity counseling.
Congressional Workshop to Explore Fact vs. Fiction in Obesity Policy On Thursday, July 14, the Campaign to End Obesity will convene congressional staff, key members of the public health community and industry to identify causes of the obesity epidemic and potential solutions. “Fact v. Fiction: The TRUTH about Obesity in America” will consider what science says are the main contributors to overweight and obesity; what is being done at the community and policy levels in response to the epidemic; and what hurdles exist in treating obesity.
The Campaign to End Obesity today announced that Karen Licitra, Johnson & Johnson Company Group Chairman and Worldwide Franchise Chairman for Ethicon Endo-Surgery will assume the position of Board Chair.
Campaign Honors Congressional Champions for Work Combating Obesity The Campaign to End Obesity recognized eight outstanding Members of Congress whose work has been instrumental in moving forward provisions to end the obesity epidemic. In its fourth annual “Breakfast with Champions,” leaders from across industry, academia and public health convened to acknowledge these key players in health care, nutrition and transportation policy, among other areas. The event also served to encourage these visionaries’ colleagues to take up needed reforms that will reverse one of America’s costliest medical challenges.
What the Different Budget Proposals Mean for Obesity Prevention and Treatment As the White House and Congress continue to refine budget proposals for the remainder of FY 2011 and beyond, several proposals have been introduced that would threaten or reduce funding for critical obesity prevention and treatment programs. These include a six-month spending bill for 2011 (H.R. 1473) that is expected to pass the House and Senate by April 15; House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Budget Proposal for FY 2012 (covering the next ten years); and President Obama’s Proposed budget for FY 2012. Below are summaries of how each of the three plans could potentially impact anti-obesity programs.
The Campaign to End Obesity announced the addition of Dr. Joe Thompson to its Board of Directors. Thompson brings significant expertise from both clinical and policy perspectives as Surgeon General for the State of Arkansas, Director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) and Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity (RWJF Center).
To learn more about changes in federal policy that will enable more
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 as high
billion, and nearly 17 percent of U.S. medical costs can be attributed
according to research released by the National Bureau of Economic
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