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.

Neighborhoods Matter to Kids' Food Choices
MedPage Today, 06.23.16
Children who went near places that sold junk food between home and school were more likely to end up purchasing that junk food, according to a new study that used global positioning system (GPS) technology to track kids' trips for 2 weeks.

Primary Care Physicians Primed to Help Patients Be More Active
Medical Xpress, 06.21.16
Exercise plays a crucial role in being healthy and preventing disease. Because of their close relationship to patients, primary care physicians (PCPs) can act as a catalyst to help people be more active through physical activity counseling; however, doctors often encounter barriers to being able to properly address inactivity. A new paper from The American Journal of Medicine offers PCPs implementable strategies to break down those barriers and help their patients get more exercise.

Diet Habits Improve Among U.S. Adults, But Wide Racial and Economic Gaps Remain
Modern Healthcare, 06.21.16
Progress made over the past decade to improve the eating habits of U.S. adults has not narrowed racial and socioeconomic disparities, according to a new study. Surveys conducted between 1999 and 2012 of self-reported dietary habits of more than 33,000 adults ages 20 and older found the percentage of Americans with what would be deemed as a “poor” diet decreased from 56% to 46% over the study period while the number of those with “intermediate” diets increased from 44% to 53%. The number of adults who were found to have “ideal” diets also increased but slightly from 0.7% to 1.5%.

Changing Economic Conditions Can Affect Children's Weight
Reuters, 06.14.16
During economic slumps, children’s risk of becoming overweight or obese may rise with the unemployment rates in their communities, according to a recent study of California school children.

Bipartisan Funding Bill Proposes Cuts to Programs Fighting Chronic Disease and Racial Health Gaps
Modern Healthcare, 06.10.16
A bipartisan bill that increases funding for the National Institutes of Health and the battle against opioid abuse is considered a big step toward addressing some of the country's most pressing public health emergencies. But the bill also proposes cuts to a number of significant agencies and programs. The bill would cut $112 million from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, dropping it to $1.06 billion. The program, which provides support in tracking chronic diseases and their risk factors as well as offering help for patients to manage and prevent the onset of such conditions, has been key in reducing the rate of teen births and smoking.

Dems Ready for Child Nutrition Combat
Politico, 06.10.16
Democrats are not mincing words when it comes to the GOP’s child nutrition bill, characterizing it as "stupid," "mean-spirited" and "mind-boggling" during an opposition rally on Capitol Hill Thursday. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi vowed to ensure the reauthorizing legislation (H.R. 5003) “never sees the light of day on the House floor.”

Changes in Gut Microbiome Influence Risk for Obesity, Metabolic Disease
Newsweek, 06.09.16
Research on the microbiome continues to prove the age-old claim that “you are what you eat.” Countless studies suggest the trillions of tiny bugs that make their home in a person’s gut have some influence on nearly every aspect of health, especially the likelihood of becoming severely overweight and developing obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. A new study published June 8 in Nature suggests altering the makeup of gut microbes could be an effective way to address weight and related problems. Though plenty of researchers have made this claim before, this is the first study to specifically identify the mechanism by which changes in a person’s gut microbes influences the likelihood for developing obesity and metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions that include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels.

America's Obesity Epidemic Hits a New High
NBC News, 06.07.16
The U.S. obesity epidemic continues to worsen: The latest reports show that 40 percent of U.S. women are obese, and American teenagers are also continuing to put on weight. The two reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that efforts to encourage Americans to lose weight—at least to stop putting on more weight—are having little effect.

Major Weight-Loss Cancer Trial Starting
BBC News, 06.06.16
Researchers believe achieving a healthier weight could cut the risk by a fifth in breast cancer. Around 3,200 women will take part, with half of them shifting a tenth of their body weight. Experts said the trials were vital as it was still unclear if weight made a difference. Dr. Jennifer Ligibel, from the women's cancer centre at the Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, said: "We have known now for many years that women who are overweight or obese and are diagnosed with breast cancer have a higher risk of their cancer recurring and ultimately dying."

Obesity is a Chronic Disease, Says New Guidelines
MedPage Today, 05.27.16
Obesity is a chronic disease and should be treated as such, according to new evidence-based guidelines for treating obesity from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE). The guidelines are a first for AACE. An executive summary was published in Endocrine Practice earlier this week, along with a graphic algorithm and a separate statement, and the full guidelines are expected later this year.

Too Fat to Fight: Is the Obesity Crisis a National Security Risk?
NBC News, 05.30.16
Marcus Williams is unemployed but says he really wants to join the U.S. Army. Right now though, it is just a dream. "I can't pass the physicals because the recruiters say I am too fat," says the 18-year-old resident of Detroit. "But I am working on it." Currently, he weighs 250 pounds and is 5 feet 10 inches tall. "They tell me that I am technically obese," he says of the Army recruiters.

States with the Highest Obesity
USA Today, 05.28.16
Obesity has been associated with some of the nation’s biggest killers — cancer, heart disease and diabetes. All have been closely linked to obesity. According to the National Cancer Institute, in some cases, obesity can cut a person’s lifespan more than smoking. The obesity epidemic afflicts every part of the country to some degree. At least one in five adults are obese in every state. In five states, at least one in three adults are obese.

Severe Obesity May Boost Infection Risk After Heart Surgery
U.S. News & World Report, 06.01.16
Severely obese people may have a higher risk of certain complications after heart bypass surgery than normal-weight patients, a new study suggests. The researchers found that severe obesity was linked to much higher odds of developing an infection soon after heart bypass surgery. And severely obese patients were also more likely to have longer hospital stays than normal-weight patients.

Weight-Loss Surgery may Boost Survival
HealthDay, 06.02.16
Weight-loss surgery might significantly lower obese people's risk of premature death, a new study finds. About five years after surgery, the death rate was just over 1 percent for those who had weight-loss surgery and 4 percent among those in the non-surgery group, researchers said. For the study, the researchers -- led by Christina Persson from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden -- reviewed data from almost 49,000 obese people in Sweden. They were between 18 and 74 years old.

Yes, America's Obesity Rates are Still (Slowly) Rising
Forbes, 05.27.16
If recent headlines are to be believed, we are rapidly approaching the future depicted in Wall-E, with a morbidly obese population that can get from place to place only with the help of a hover-scooter. “Americans are fatter than ever, CDC finds,” trumpets CNN. “This Many Americans Need To Go On A Diet ASAP, According To New CDC Report,” content farm Elite Daily smugly proclaims. But is it really that cut-and-dried? The report both articles refer to is succinctly titled “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data from the National Health Interview Survey, 2015.” It was released on Tuesday, and it provides an early look at annual data from the titular survey on 15 different points, from health insurance and flu shots to smoking rates and, yes, obesity.

AACE Presents Clinical Practice Guidelines for Treating Obesity
American Journal of Managed Care, 05.25.16
The world’s largest professional group of endocrinologists today issued clinical guidelines for treating obesity, standards that focus not simply on losing weight but on improving health and quality of life for those who live with the disease. Guidelines issued by the 7000-member American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) reflect the increased understanding of the “multidimensional pathophysiology of obesity,” with genetic, environmental, and behavioral components. “Adipose tissue itself is an endocrine organ, which can become dysfunctional in obesity and contribute to systemic metabolic disease,” the AACE authors note in their introduction.

Consider Obesity Surgery More Often for Diabetes: Guidelines
WTOP, 05.24.16
New guidelines say weight-loss surgery should become a more routine treatment option for diabetes, even for some patients who are mildly obese. Obesity and Type 2 diabetes are a deadly pair, and numerous studies show stomach-shrinking operations can dramatically improve diabetes. But Tuesday’s guidelines mark the first time the surgery is recommended specifically as a diabetes treatment rather than as obesity treatment with a side benefit, and expand the eligible candidates.

Walkable Neighborhoods Cut Obesity and Diabetes Rates
The New York Times, 05.24.16
Neighborhoods designed for walking may decrease the rates of being overweight or obese and having diabetes by more than 10 percent, a new study concludes.

Dems Call for Changes to Child Nutrition Bill
The Hill, 05.16.16
House Democrats are pushing for changes to legislation they claim will weaken the first lady’s prized school lunch standards and make it more difficult for low-income and minority children to access meal programs. In a letter led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), 111 Democrats asked House Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-Minn.) and ranking member Bobby Scott (D-Va.) to strengthen proposed legislation to reauthorize the 2010 Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that they say now includes “misguided changes.”

FDA Approves New Nutrition Panel That Highlights Sugar Levels
The Wall Street Journal, 05.20.16
U.S. food regulators said they approved the most radical overhaul of nutrition policy in decades, putting sugar squarely in its crosshairs. Potentially changing how Americans eat and drink, a new nutrition facts panel that appears on the back of all packaged food and beverages will list how many grams of sugar have been added by manufacturers and what percentage of the recommended daily maximum that represents.

The States with the Fastest Growing Obesity Problem
The Fiscal Times, 05.19.16
American might be the land of the free, but it’s also the land of love handles, beer guts and thunder thighs. According to the latest research, Americans are heavier than ever. The national obesity rate hit an all-time high of 28 percent in 2015, up from 25.5 percent in 2008.

Is the Cure for Obesity Written in Our Genes?
Forbes, 05.18.16
Nancy Gallo, 48, had been battling her weight since high school and consistently failing well-proven diet plans such as Weight Watchers. Then her employer offered help from an unexpected source: her own genetic code. Gallo is a senior consultant for insurance giant Aetna AET -1.15%, which in 2014 began pilot testing a program that combines genetic testing with coaching to develop highly personalized weight-loss programs.

Can Building Design Make You Healthy
The San Diego Union-Tribune, 05.14.16
After decades of building car-centric suburbs, developers now realize they may be partly responsible for a rising tide of obesity. Now, led by the Urban Land Institute think tank in Washington, D.C., they’re pivoting to “healthy places” where walkability, parks, community gardens and public transit can reverse the trends.

Perceiving Children's Obesity
The Boston Globe, 04.09.16
Pediatricians can now predict the risk of severe obesity in early childhood when a child is as young as 6 months old. But as a child grows, how well do parents recognize if their kid is becoming obese? Not very, according to a new study in the journal Obesity. If a child is overweight or obese, the vast majority of parents underestimate their child’s weight status. In fact, parents are far more accurate at perceiving their own obesity than that of their children.

Weight Loss Surgery Boosts Good Cholesterol in Obese Teens and Could Help Prevent Heart Disease Down the Road
Medical Daily, 05.05.16
Obese teens are increasingly resorting to surgery to achieve the weight loss results they need. A team of researchers from the University of Cincinnati collaborated with local hospitals to study how weight loss surgery affected heart health in a small group of obese teen boys. The findings, presented at the American Heart Association’s 2016 Scientific Sessions, reveal how undergoing surgery during teenage years may be the trick to preventing heart damage as adults.

A Widely Held Belief about Childhood Obesity that Simply Isn't True
The Washington Post, 05.02.16
In 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a promising report about American children. For decades, the collective waistline of this country's youths had only seemed to expand—between the late 1960s and early 2000s, the obesity rate among 6- to 11-year-olds quadrupled, while the rate for 12- to 19-year-olds more than tripled. Even among the youngest children, those ages 2 to 5, the rate had risen alarmingly fast—tripling. But finally things were changing.

Dietitian on Aisle Four: Grocery Stores are Calling in Health Experts
The Chicago Tribune, 04.29.16
“Has anyone tried quinoa before?" No hands went up. "We'll try some today," said Allison Parker, a dietitian employed by Mariano's, to a group of eight mothers with young children on a tour of the Evergreen Park location. Parker is one of a growing number of registered dietitians who ply their trade in grocery stores instead of health care settings. As consumers have turned toward food they consider healthier and more sustainable, food companies have followed suit by marketing to popular diet trends and shifting preferences.

Let's Stand with Retired Military Leaders to Get Healthy School Meals Over the Finish Line (OPINION)
The Hill, 05.4.16
The following op-ed was co-written by former House Majority Leader William Frist, MD and former Senator Tom Daschle: While headlines harp that the U.S. is a nation “hopelessly divided,” there is something lawmakers can band together on: forging a solution to our obesity epidemic. In addition to being one of the greatest health threats our nation has ever faced, it is a terrible burden for employers, who are forced to spend more than $73 billion in costs associated with overweight-related medical and lost productivity costs every year. Obesity also threatens national security, as the leading medical reason why 71 percent of young adults between the ages of 17 and 24 cannot qualify for military service.

Five Things Businesses Can Do To Fight Obesity
Bloomberg News, 04.14.16
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and other health problems. It’s a public health problem too big for the public health system to solve. Increasingly, businesses are asking what they can do to fight obesity among their employees, customers, and communities. It was the subject of an April 12 meeting at the National Academy of Sciences. After all, employers pay for obesity in their health-care costs, so they should have some incentive to figure out solutions.

Why Have Healthcare Companies and Physicians Failed to Solve the Obesity Epidemic
Medcity News, 04.13.16
For decades, individuals struggling with weight have been told to eat a healthy diet and exercise, and the pounds will come off. But the truth is that both companies and doctors are failing at helping people actually achieve weight loss. The numbers don’t lie. We’re not making a dent in our overweight population and, what’s worse, obesity has more than doubled between 1980 and 2015, with now nearly two billion overweight or obese living around the world.

Insurers Take on Obesity Prevention
Healthcare Dive, 04.13.16
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of adults and around 17% of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. It’s well known preventing obesity can ultimately save the healthcare system millions of dollars, but is there any financial payback for insurers? Dr. David Ludwig, director of the new Balance Foundation Obesity Prevention Center at Children’s Hospital, Boston, thinks not. He told Kaiser Health News that there’s no real incentive for payers to cover better obesity prevention and treatment because the costs are immediate and the benefits are long-term. According to Ludwig “it doesn’t make a lot of sense for individual plans when families change policies every three to five years.”

Fat? Your Doctor Can't Help
U.S. News & World Report, 04.12.16
When doctors diagnose health problems in patients, they tend to offer solutions: antibiotics for an infection, surgery to remove a tumor, insulin for diabetes. But for the most part that doesn't happen when the diagnosis is obesity. While doctors are getting better at informing their patients when their body mass index is too high, they often do not tell them how to lose weight, even though a range of options – including medication, gym memberships, a nutrition program like Weight Watchers, or referral to a weight-loss specialist or surgeon – are available. Many doctors report they don't have time to talk to patients about weight loss strategies, while others struggle with being overweight themselves and feel uncomfortable broaching the subject with a patient. Many doctors simply haven't been trained.

Overcoming Stigma Essential For Improving Payer Coverage of Obesity
American Journal of Managed Care, 04.09.16
Only 5% of patients with obesity who lose weight keep it off. Coverage for obesity drugs is improving, but remains uncommon. Only a tiny fraction of the candidates for bariatric surgery have the operation, in part because 70% of physicians won’t give referrals. All this leaves 93% of those who live with obesity with unmet medical needs, according to Janine V. Kyrillos, MD, an obesity specialist at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. Kyrillos led off Friday's session on the needs of those with obesity at Patient-Centered Diabetes Care, presented by The American Journal of Managed Care. Speakers and panelists explained how many patients with diabetes live with obesity as well, and while these are distinct diseases, their effects overlap. There’s a key difference, however. The stigma associated with obesity—the idea that patients “did this to themselves”—still pervades thinking among many physicians, insurers, and employers, despite the 2013 declaration by the American Medical Association that obesity is a disease.

Obesity Surgery Linked to Reduced Pain, Improved Mobility
Fox News Health, 04.06.16
Many severely obese patients have less pain and better mobility in the first few years after weight loss surgery, a U.S. study suggests. Researchers followed more than 2,200 obese patients who had weight loss surgery. After one year, 58 percent of them reported less pain and 77 percent said they had better physical function. By three years, the proportion of patients still reporting improvements in pain and physical function dropped significantly to 49 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Patients did, however, report consistent improvements in walking ability at one and three years, and those who started with knee and hip problems also reported lasting pain reductions and mobility increases around these joints.

Obesity Rises at Unprecedented Pace Worldwide
The Chicago Tribune, 04.01.16
The past 40 years have seen an unprecedented increase in the number of obese adults worldwide, climbing to about 640 million from 105 million in 1975. If the current trend continues, about one-fifth of adults will be obese by 2025. The rate has more than doubled for women and tripled for men, according to a new analysis published in the Lancet. Under the present trajectory, the chance of meeting a goal set by the World Health Organization to halt the increase over the next decade is, according to the study, "virtually zero."

Grocery Stores Taking More Active Roles in Health Promotion
Forbes, 03.28.16
Grocery stores, supermarkets and other large food retailers do not simply “store” food. They, in fact, can play major roles in what you choose to eat and drink. While this may not be new news to food marketers, health advocates have been increasingly recognizing this role and developing policies and interventions that target food retailers. With the obesity epidemic and other diet-related health problems bringing more attention to what you eat and drink, more and more grocery stores are finding that proactively establishing practices and programs that promote health may be good business.

Obesity Survey Uncovers Striking Clinician “Knowledge Gap”
Medscape (login required), 03.28.16
Two-thirds of US clinicians who replied to a new Medscape survey about treating obesity reported that they prescribe weight-loss drugs for about one in four obese patients, and they refer 13% of individuals for bariatric surgery. However, in a somewhat-troubling response, they also said that half of the patients who took weight-loss drugs did not meet their "treatment goals."

Medicare Proposal Takes Aim at Diabetes
The New York Times, 03.23.16
The Obama administration plans on Wednesday to propose expanding Medicare to cover programs to prevent diabetes among millions of people at high risk of developing the disease, marking the sixth anniversary of the Affordable Care Act with the prospect of a new benefit, federal officials said.

Study: Heart Attack Patients Getting Younger, Fatterq
CBS News, 03.24.16
Despite greater awareness of risk factors for heart disease and the need for healthy lifestyle changes, heart attack patients are becoming younger and more obese, according to new research from the Cleveland Clinic. The study, being presented at the American College of Cardiology's 65th Annual Scientific Session, also found that these patients were more likely to have preventable risk factors such high blood pressure and diabetes and were more likely to be smokers.

Yale Study: Some Parents Underestimate Their Children's Weight
Yale School of Medicine News, 03.22.16
A new article by two Yale researchers suggests some parents believe their children’s weight is lighter than it actually is, a misperception with important implications for clinical prevention and treatment of childhood obesity.

Childhood Obesity a Rising Concern in the Military, Which is Now Turning to the Agriculture Industry for Help
The Greeley Tribune, 03.19.16
When Juan Cardenas started in the Marine Corps junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps at Northridge High School, he wasn’t able to do a pull-up or a push-up. He used to wear a shirt that said, “I’m not fat, I’m fluffy.” That word—“Fluffy”—became his nickname around the junior ROTC hall. Last week, Juan, 16, stood in front of his junior ROTC class and gave a presentation about nutrition. He offered tips about how to read labels, what foods are the healthiest and how the body converts calories to energy. Some of the information he presented was new even to his instructor, Maj. Stephen Kintzley.

School Breakfast Programs Vital, Even if Some Kids Also Eat at Home
UPI, 03.17.16
Students who eat two breakfasts are less likely to become overweight or obese than those who skip the morning meal, according to a new study. "When it comes to the relationship between school breakfast and body weight, our study suggests that two breakfasts are better than none," Marlene Schwartz, director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity at the University of Connecticut, said in a university news release.

Growing up in poor neighborhoods may increase risk for obesity
UPI, 03.15.16
Growing up in poor neighborhoods increases the risk for obesity, with the pattern stronger among young women, according to a recent study. Researchers at the University of Colorado found consistently living in low-income neighborhoods puts young people at higher risk for becoming or remaining obese, and even moving to a poorer neighborhood increases the risk. Conversely, moving out of low-income neighborhoods can decrease the risk of obesity.

Study Questions Impact of NYC Students' Weight Report Cards
The New York Times, 03.14.16
When New York City public schools began giving students report cards on their weight a decade ago, officials hoped the information would help fight an obesity epidemic in the nation's largest school system. But a new study finds being labeled fat doesn't spur weight loss, at least among students near the threshold for being flagged.

Obesity In America: As Healthcare Costs Rise, Hospitals Weigh New Ways Of Caring For Larger Patients
The International Business Times, 03.06.16
In the United States, where two-thirds of adults are classified as overweight or obese, larger patients are increasingly the norm, and the healthcare industry has evolved in many ways to accommodate them, from developing sturdier medical equipment to building heavier-duty hospital beds. The sector has been much slower, however, to tackle other, subtler ways obesity weighs on the healthcare system, such as the tolls of physically handling larger patients, despite the vast medical and financial benefits of doing so, nurses and other medical experts say.

Report Says Obesity is Taking Toll on Nation's Health
WTOP News, 03.02.16
More than one-third of Americans are obese, and new data from the Centers for Disease Control Prevention underscores the toll it’s taking on the nation’s health. The CDC says there were 11 million doctors’ visits in 2012 for obesity-related health problems. Women had a significantly higher visit rate than men, and patients over 40 had a higher rate than younger adults.

Eating Right for National Nutrition Month: Can You Make Healthy Choices
The Chicago Tribune, 03.02.16
March is National Nutrition Month, an annual effort by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to help Americans eat more healthfully. The theme for this year’s campaign is “Savor the flavor of eating right.” But eating right depends on you and your lifestyle, for as the academy points out on its website: “There's no one diet that is right for everyone.”

Cheaper Healthy Food Could Save Millions of Lives: Study
Yahoo News, 03.01.16
Scientists have been telling Americans about the benefits of healthy eating for decades, and yet more Americans are obese than ever -- more than a third of the country. Now, researchers at Harvard and Tufts Universities have laid out concrete steps officials can take by linking food prices to health effects.

Senior Advocates Fight Medicare Ban on Weight Loss Drugs
ABC News (Local), 02.28.16
A senior advocate group is doing battle in Washington, for millions of Medicare recipients fighting obesity. The Gerontological Society of America wants to reverse a 2003 Medicare regulation banning payment for prescription weight loss drugs. With two-thirds of Americans overweight or obese, the group says it's time for change. "86% of the cost of healthcare, which is about 3 trillion dollars, is because of chronic diseases, and what drives chronic illnesses? Obesity. So let's address the problem," says former HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson, ad advocate with the Gerontological Society.

Smoking v. Obesity: The Economics of Prevention and Its Dependence on Treatment
Health Affairs, 02.22.16
In 2012, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released an in-depth study of the health and budgetary effects of raising the excise tax on cigarettes. We commented on this study in our blog about the complex economics of disease prevention and longevity. CBO has since turned its attention to obesity and recently released a list of issues needing resolution in order for CBO to estimate the effects of federal policies impacting obesity.

Small Weight Loss Yields Large Rewards, Study Finds
U.S. News & World Report, 02.22.16
Shedding just a few pounds can lower the risk of serious health problems in obese adults, a small study suggests. Researchers looked at 40 obese people who lost 5 percent, 10 percent and 15 percent of their weight. The study, published Feb. 22 in the journal Cell Metabolism, found that 5 percent weight loss was enough to reduce multiple risk factors for type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Doctors, Patients Seek Weight-Loss Surgery Coverage for State Workers
The LaCrosse Tribune, 02.21.16
As Wisconsin considers self-insuring state employees, some want officials to take another step that could save money: covering weight-loss surgery for state workers who are severely obese. Forty states pay for the surgery for state workers who qualify, five states are experimenting with coverage and four states provide no coverage, according to the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

Health Buzz: Child and Teen Obesity Quickly Raises Blood Pressure
U.S. News & World Report, 02.19.16
It doesn't take long for kids to gain enough weight to boost their blood pressure too high, according to a large study published online Friday in the journal Pediatrics. With nearly one-third of U.S. kids either obese or overweight, the new findings have health implications for children, parents and pediatric health providers nationwide.

Overweight, Obese Kids Fare Worse in Hospital ICUs, Study Finds
U.S. News & World Report, 02.16.16
Overweight or obese children may be up to 57 percent more likely to die in a pediatric intensive care unit (ICU), a new study indicates. "With increasing weight, there was an increasing risk of death," said study author Dr. Patrick Ross, a critical care specialist with Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

USDA Rules Would Increase Access to Healthy Foods
The New York Times, 02.16.16
The Agriculture Department unveiled new rules on Tuesday that would force retailers who accept food stamps to stock a wider variety of healthy foods or face the loss of business as consumers shop elsewhere. The proposed rules are designed to ensure that the more than 46 million Americans who use food stamps have better access to healthy foods although they don't dictate what people buy or eat. A person using food stamp dollars could still purchase as much junk food as they wanted, but they would at least have more options in the store to buy fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and bread.

Rx for Obesity
Long-Term Living Magazine, 02.15.16
Obesity is gaining legitimacy as a health epidemic, and seniors are one of the most at-risk groups. Reduced mobility, lack of exercise and multiple chronic conditions spur tendencies toward weight gain. Obesity, in turn, aggravates other medical conditions—creating an endless circle of weight management challenges.

In Pregnancy, Eating Too Much Fish Can Raise a Child's Obesity Risk, Study Says
The Los Angeles Times, 02.15.16
Newborns whose mothers ate fish more than three times a week during pregnancy grew faster in their first two years of life and were more likely to be overweight or obese at 4 and 6 years old than were babies born to mothers who ate little to no fish during pregnancy, a new study says.

House Passes Bill to Roll Back Menu Labeling Rule
The Hill, 02.12.16
The House passed legislation on Friday to weaken an Obama administration regulation to require nutrition information on restaurant menus. Thirty-three Democrats joined with all but one Republican to support the measure in the 266-144 vote. Libertarian Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the only Republican to vote "no," while Rep. John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) voted “present.”

Equipment Needed to Help Schools Serve Healthier Meals, Strengthen Child Nutrition
The Huffington Post, 02.11.16
Over the past seven years, we've made great progress to improve child nutrition. Obesity rates have fallen and the bipartisan work of Congress has helped move the needle on child nutrition legislation. Since 2009, USDA has awarded $215 million in school nutrition equipment grants; however, the simple need for up-to-date equipment and adequate appliances is still one of the biggest obstacles to providing quality nutrition to kids in schools across the country.

Is More Physical Education in Schools Linked to Higher Student Math Scores
The Washi, 02.09.16
The amount of time students spend doing physical activity in school appears to be linked to higher standardized math scores in D.C. schools, according to a new American University study that examined the success of the city’s Healthy Schools Act and found that schools offering more physical activity had significantly better math success.

American Teenagers are Eating Better: Study
Time, 02.09.16
Lately, the news about children and obesity hasn’t been good. That’s because the numbers have been trending in the wrong direction; for years, obesity rates have inched upward, and while they haven’t yet started to drop, they have begun to plateau. But other signs of health trouble, including diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, are also on the rise.

Obama's Plan to Give Free Lunches to Millions More Kids
The Washington Post, 01.27.16
The Obama administration will announce new plans Wednesday to launch a pilot program aimed at increasing poor children's access to food through the National School Lunch Program. The pilot program will allow participating states to use Medicaid data to automatically certify students for free and reduced-price school lunches. Currently, families have to submit an application — a laborious process for parents and a costly one for schools — even when they have already proven that they are income-eligible through their participation in other government assistance programs.

Finally, More Doctors are Specializing in Obesity Treatment
Forbes, 02.01.16
At long last, more full-fledged doctors who actually specialize in obesity treatment are arriving. For years, the medical profession has been churning out doctors super specializing in areas that exceeded demand (for example, how many radiologists do we really need?) and at the same time neglecting areas that have real need…such as obesity treatment. Last I checked, an obesity epidemic has been gripping the world, but there’s been no similar epidemic of X-rays that need to be read. If you don’t know already, obesity is a major problem, resulting in many different physical, psychological, social and economic problems, including chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, heart disease and cancer, lost productivity for businesses, and soaring healthcare costs. Based on television shows such as The Biggest Loser and myriad diet and exercise products and programs that blanket television, the internet and magazines, people are calling out for help to manage their weight and treat obesity. So (queue the song “Flight of the Valkyries”) last week, the still relatively new American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) certified more than 400 physicians as obesity medicine specialists.

Ending Childhood Obesity is a Global Challenge
Newsweek, 01.30.16
Childhood obesity is no longer the preserve of wealthy nations. There are more overweight and obese children in the developing world, in terms of absolute numbers, and an upward trend is evident. In Africa alone, the number of overweight children under five years of age nearly doubled from 5.4 million to 10.3 million between 1990 and 2014. Current estimates of 41 million overweight and obese children under five globally represents only the tip of the iceberg—we do not yet have figures available for older children and adolescents. The situation is exacerbated if we factor in the number of children who are heading towards obesity but have not yet reached the standard cut-off.

Glimmer of Hope for the Obesity Crisis?
Forbes, 01.29.16
Acceptance of being overweight is greater today than in 2010 as Americans increasingly see themselves primarily responsible for their own weight, although belief in the role of genetic predisposition is significant and growing. A new report finds people are beginning to connect the dots between eating behaviors and personal health.

Obama to Seek $12B From Congress for Child Nutrition
ABC News, 01.27.16
President Barack Obama plans to ask Congress for $12 billion over a decade to help feed schoolchildren from low-income families during the summer, the White House said Wednesday. The request will be in the 2017 budget proposal Obama plans to send lawmakers on Feb. 9.

Senate Panel Approves Bill to Make School Lunches Tastier
Chicago Tribune, 01.20.16
School meals could become a bit tastier under legislation approved by a Senate committee. The measure approved by a voice vote Wednesday is designed to help schools that say the Obama administration's healthier meal rules are too restrictive.

Supermarkets Nearby May Help Kids Lose Some Weight: Study
U.S. News & World Report, 01.21.16
Maybe living close to a large supermarket can help obese children slim down, new research suggests. "Children enrolled in an obesity intervention program who lived closer to a supermarket decreased their body mass index (BMI) and increased their fruit and vegetable intake," said Dr. Lauren Fiechtner, study lead author and director of nutrition at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston.

Excess Weight Leads to Blood Clot Risk in Kids
U.S. News & World Report, 01.21.16
Obese children and teens may have an increased risk for blood clots in their veins, called venous thromboembolism (VTE), a new study suggests.

Strong Majority of Americans Support Strengthening Medicare Law to Require Coverage of Obesity Programs
Business Wire, 01.21.16
More than two years after the American Medical Association declared obesity a disease, a strong majority of Americans believe Congress should approve legislation to require Medicare to cover FDA-approved medicines to treat obesity. Seventy-one percent of Americans believe Medicare should invest in programs to reduce the rate of obesity, according to a national Ipsos poll commissioned by The Gerontological Society of America.

The Battle Plan to Fight Diabetes and Obesity
Health Affairs, 01.13.16
From time to time, most strategic grant-making organizations review their programmatic priorities, assessing the needs and opportunities in a given area and figuring out what role a foundation could play in it. When the New York State Health Foundation’s (NYSHealth’s) board and staff began reviewing its strategic priorities in 2014, we grappled with how we could have the most impact given our modest resources. (Our annual grants and operations budget is approximately $15 million—a modest sum in a state expected, by 2020, to spend more than $300 billion annually on health care!)

Weight-Loss Surgery May Reduce Depression in Some Patients, Study Suggests
The L.A. Times, 01.12.16
fOR some severely obese patients, a new study hints that bariatric surgery might potentially do good for both body and mind. Patients seeking and undergoing such weight-loss procedures were more likely to suffer from depression and binge-eating than the general population -- but those with depression often saw their mental health improve after surgery, a new UCLA-led paper shows.

How Urban Planning Can Influence Obesity Rates
The Atlantic, 01.12.16
There are so many causes of obesity—poverty, social and emotional factors, lack of sleep, genetics—that it becomes difficult to sift through them all. But the relationship between cities and obesity is perhaps even more complicated. On the one hand, city residents are frequently exposed to pollution, and may lack access to public spaces like parks and recreational facilities. On the other hand, cities tend to be more walkable than sprawling suburban areas, and therefore encourage a more active lifestyle.

Lack of Play Spaces for Latino Kids Increases Obesity Risk
NBC News, 01.12.16
Obesity rates in Latino youth are higher compared to their non-Latino white counterparts and it may not only depend on food options. Salud America!, an organization that advocates for childhood obesity prevention, has found a correlation between obesity rates and availability of recreational areas in communities.

Government Revises Dietary Guidelines: Go Ahead and Have Some Eggs
The Washington Post, 01.07.16
The federal government on Thursday told Americans not to worry so much about cholesterol in their diets, that lots of coffee is fine and that skipping breakfast is no longer considered a health hazard.

UW Study: Students Choosing Healthier Food Under New Standards
The Seattle Times, 01.06.16
Nutrition standards aimed at making school meals healthier appear to be working, at least in one area district, with students choosing more nutritious food and buying school meals at the same rate they did before the standards went into effect nearly four years ago, according to a new study by the University of Washington’s School of Public Health.

Even if You Lose Weight, Obesity May Still Impact Your Health
Huffington Post, 01.06.16
People who have been overweight or obese at any time during their lives may be more likely to die early, even if they lose weight later, a new study suggests.

Omnibus Calls for Probe of Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
The Hill, 12.16.15
The year-end government spending bill includes language that calls on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to conduct a “comprehensive review” within 30 days of the the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the federally appointed panel of nutritionists that helps draft them.

Rising Obesity Rates Put Strain on Nursing Homes
The New York Times, 12.14.15
RED BAY, Ala. — At 72, her gray hair closely shorn, her days occupied by sewing and television, Wanda Chism seems every bit a typical nursing home patient — but for her size.

How Genetic Heritage Explains Obesity
Boston Globe, 12.14.15
Your boss blames you for something that wasn’t your fault, so you grab a chocolate bar and a bag of chips to feel better. After years of repeating this pattern — getting upset and overeating — you develop obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, which put you at risk for forming a blood clot in one of your coronary arteries.

One in Five U.S. Kids Has Unhealthy Cholesterol Levels: Study
NBC News, 12.10.15
One in five Americans kids has unhealthy cholesterol levels, and more than 8 percent have the most worrisome high cholesterol levels, a new survey finds.

Fathers May Pass Down More Than Just Genes, Study Suggests
The New York Times, 12.3.15
In 2013, an obese man went to Hvidovre Hospital in Denmark to have his stomach stapled. All in all, it was ordinary bariatric surgery — with one big exception.

Creating Oases in New York City's
The Wall Street Journal, 12.2.15
When Sade Bennett started working in April at a small farm on the grounds of a New York City Housing Authority complex in Brooklyn, she had a GED, a 5-year-old son, and a desire to better her health and her community.

Doctors Need More Training to Address Obesity
Baltimore Sun, 12.2.15
Chances are someone close to you is obese or overweight; just look at the statistics. Worldwide, obesity has nearly doubled since 1980. Worldwide, more than 1.4 billion adults 20 and older are overweight, and of those, 500 million are obese. In the United States, more than two-thirds of adults and one-third of children ages 6 to 19 are overweight or obese. And obesity rates are higher in Baltimore than the national average: According to the Centers for Disease Control, almost 40 percent of Baltimoreans are overweight and almost 30 percent are obese.

There Aren't Enough Specialists to Treat Our Growing Obesity Problem
Huffington Post, 11.30.15
There are currently fewer than 6,000 endocrinologists in the U.S., according to a new analysis, confirming a health care shortage that's particularly distressing in light of this month's report that obesity rates are once again on the rise. A full 38 percent of U.S. adults are now considered to be obese, up from 32 percent of adults a decade ago, and another third are overweight.

Obesity in Youth May Harm Health Later in Life, Even After Weight Loss
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/obesity-in-youth-may-harm-health-later-in-life-even-after-weight-loss/, 11.27.15
A new study finds that even if overweight or obese young women slim down later on, obesity-linked damage to the heart may linger for decades. The research shows that even formerly overweight women remain at heightened risk for sudden cardiac death later in life.

New Battlefield: Fighting Obesity in the Military
http://thehill.com/blogs/congress-blog/healthcare/259566-new-battlefield-fighting-obesity-in-the-military, 11.10.15
Every Nov. 11, Americans use Veteran’s Day to remember and thank the brave men and women of our armed forces and their families for the sacrifices they have made in order to protect and serve our country. As we take a moment to celebrate their service, we should also be mindful of perhaps the greatest threat our current military forces face—a threat that jeopardizes our nation’s recruiting ability and risks the strength of our military: the U.S. obesity epidemic.

Obesity Rises Despite All Efforts to Fight It, U.S. Health Officials Say
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/12/health/obesity-rises-despite-all-efforts-to-fight-it-us-health-officials-say.html?_r=0, 11.12.15
Despite years of efforts to reduce obesity in America, including a major push by Michelle Obama, federal health officials reported Thursday that the share of Americans who were obese had not declined in recent years, and had edged up slightly.

Women Overtake Men in U.S. Obesity Rates
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/women-overtake-men-in-u-s-obesity-rates/, 11.12.15
Obesity is still rising among American adults, despite more than a decade of public-awareness campaigns and other efforts to get people to watch their weight, and women have now overtaken men in the obese category, new government research shows.

Obese Kids As Young As 8 May Have Heart Problems
Time, 11.10.15
The health risks associated with extra weight are not news, of course, but scientists have a new concern among the youngest and the heaviest. Researchers at the American Heart Association annual meeting in Florida reported Tuesday that excess weight in children can lead to potentially harmful changes in the hearts of kids as young as 8.

Most Obesity Care Not Covered By Insurers
USA Today, 11.8.15
Obesity is a disease, but the U.S. health care system fails to treat it like one, say doctors who treat obesity.

A Seismic Shift in How People Eat
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/08/opinion/a-seismic-shift-in-how-people-eat.html?_r=0, 11.6.15
It's easy to make fun of people in big cities for their obsession with gluten, or chia seeds, or cleanses. But urbanites are not the only ones turning away from the products created by big food companies. Eating habits are changing across the country and food companies are struggling to keep up.

Balloon You Can Swallow Fights Obesity
NBC News, 11.5.15
A new type of stomach-filling balloon can help people drop pounds, and it doesn't require any surgery to place it, researchers reported Thursday. Patients can just swallow the deflated balloon, and doctors can use a narrow catheter to fill it with water. The balloon makes it harder to overeat.

Gastric Bypass Surgery Cut Patients' Healthcare Costs by Nearly 40%, Study Finds
News Medical, 11.5.15
A new study based on national insurance claims in the United States found that patients with obesity who had gastric bypass surgery cut their healthcare costs by nearly 40 percent after four years, and by 80 percent, if they also had type 2 diabetes before surgery.

How Much Does Severe Obesity Cost California? About $9.1 Billiion
L.A. Times, 11.2.15
We know obesity increases your risk of having high blood pressure, getting diabetes and being diagnosed with certain cancers. Now it turns out it can also increase costs for your state government.

How A Better Diet Could Save Your Life
Time, 11.2.15
Two new studies underline the knowledge that maintaining a good diet is crucial to overall health and stopping deaths that are usually considered preventable.



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