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