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.

Will You Be Obese? Look at Your Sisters, Brothers
U.S. News and World Report ,
Obesity is known to run in families, but new research suggests this relationship may be the strongest among siblings. Although older children in a two-child home with an obese parent are more than twice as likely to be obese, having an obese older sibling may raise the risk more than fivefold for a younger child, whether the parents are obese or not, the researchers reported. "Siblings have a lot of influence," said lead researcher Matthew Harding, an assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University in Durham, N.C. "Children often model their behavior on that of their older siblings. Older siblings can have a strong influence on the attitudes and behaviors of younger siblings in relation to nutrition and exercise," Harding noted.

Stanford Study: Inactivity, More Than Diet, Linked to Obesity Increase
The California Report , 7.7.14
New research from Stanford shows that physical activity — or lack thereof — may be a bigger driver of the obesity epidemic than diet is. The researchers looked at national survey results of people’s health habits — including diet and exercise — from 1988 to 2010. The stunner was the increase in people who reported no leisure-time physical activity. In 1988, 19 percent of women were inactive. By 2010, that number had jumped to 52 percent. For men, the rate nearly quadrupled, going from 11 to 43 percent in the same time period. But what didn’t change was the number of calories people consumed. In other words, people were eating about the same but exercising significantly less. Dr. Uri Ladabaum, a gastroenterologist at Stanford University Medical Center, led the study.

Extreme obesity cuts lifespan more than smoking, study says
Fox News, 7.9.14
That obesity can cut life short by causing strokes and other illnesses comes as no surprise, but a study reported on Tuesday quantifies the toll: The most extreme cases cut a person's lifespan more than cigarettes. The analysis, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, is the largest-ever study of the effect of extreme obesity on mortality. It found that people who are extremely obese -- for someone of average height, carrying an extra 100 lb (45 kg) or more -- die 6.5 to 13.7 years earlier than peers with a healthy weight. The study, based on data from 20 large studies of people in the United States, Sweden and Australia, comes as rates of obesity have soared. Worldwide, nearly 30 percent of people, or 2.1 billion, are either obese or overweight. "Overweight" is defined as having a body mass index, or weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters, of 25.0 to 29.9. At the low end, that is 150 lb (68 kg) for someone 5 feet 5 inches (1.65 meters) tall. "Obesity" means a BMI of 30 or higher (180 lb at 5 feet 5 inches). "Extreme obesity" is a BMI of 40 or higher, or 241 lb at that height.

NYC Experiment Helps Severely Obese Kids
NBC News , 7.11.14
New York City’s efforts to help overweight kids lose weight has paid off in an unexpected way – the most obese children have taken off the most weight. Officials found an almost 10 percent drop in rates of severe obesity from 2006 to 2011 among the city’s public school students, while general obesity rates fell by 5.5 percent. “It’s good news,” said Christine Johnson of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which conducted the study. “We found that severe obesity has gone down in New York City schoolchildren in kindergarten to 8th grade. It’s decreasing even faster than the rate of decline we see overall in obesity.” What’s behind it? The study just looked at numbers but Johnson says New York’s been pressing schools to help kids exercise more and eat better food.

Poor Neighborhoods tied to Higher Childhood Obesity Rates
Counsel and Heal , 6.20.14
Despite major gains in fighting hepatitis C and other chronic liver conditions, public health officials are now faced with a growing epidemic of liver disease that is tightly linked to the obesity crisis. In the past two decades, the prevalence of the disease, known as nonalcoholic fatty liver, has more than doubled in teenagers and adolescents, and climbed at a similar rate in adults. Studies based on federal surveys and diagnostic testing have found that it occurs in about 10 percent of children and at least 20 percent of adults in the United States, eclipsing the rate of any other chronic liver condition. There are no drugs approved to treat the disease, and it is quickly becoming a leading cause of liver transplants around the country. Doctors say that the disease, which causes the liver to swell with fat, is particularly striking because it is nearly identical to the liver damage that is seen in heavy drinkers.

30 percent of young Nevada children are obese, study finds
The Last Vegas Sun, 6.24.14
Nearly a third of Nevada children are considered obese by the time they enter kindergarten, according to a recent UNLV report. Since 2008, the Nevada Institute for Children’s Research and Policy has issued an annual report listing demographic and health information for some of the state’s youngest residents: incoming kindergarteners. This year, more than 7,300 surveys were collected from parents with the help of the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and the state’s 17 school districts. About 60 percent of survey respondents were from Clark County. UNLV’s report found that 30 percent of Nevada’s 4- and 5-year-olds are overweight or obese, a 1.4 percent increase from last year. The Silver State’s share of overweight children has hovered around 30 percent since the survey was first administered five years ago. Nationally, childhood obesity has more than doubled in young children over the past three decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FDA Aims to Make Serving Sizes on Nutrition Labels More Realistic
The Wall Street Journal , 6.25.14
The last time the Food and Drug Administration weighed in on portion sizes of packaged foods, in 1993 it was using data on what Americans consumed in the 1970s and 1980s. Until this year—when the FDA proposed changes to the nutrition-facts panel that would require food companies to list more-realistic serving sizes on the back of the package, reflecting a portion closer to what people actually eat. Just as the FDA was collecting that data—which determined people typically drink just eight ounces of soda—7-Eleven was launching Big Gulp sodas at nearly eight times that amount. As portions grew throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, giving America a reputation for gluttony and likely contributing to the country’s obesity epidemic, nothing was changed about the way food companies had to list their servings.



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