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Six Steps to Curb the Obesity Epidemic
A mandate from the Trust for America’s Health.
The Trust for America’s Health, in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, recently released a chilling report on obesity in America. Aptly titled "F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future," the 124 page document details the alarming rise of obesity in our nation, and the dangerous implications for our health, our economy, and even our national security.
Two thirds of adults are now either overweight or obese, as are one in three kids. The numbers continue to rise across the country, contributing heavily to high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, dementia, and a host of other chronic and expensive diseases. The authors of the report made every effort to understand the causes behind the obesity epidemic, and to offer a set of recommendations, or policy priorities, that could create a lasting impact on the health of our nation.
The recommendations include:
- Ensure that all foods and beverages served and sold in schools meet or exceed the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
- Increase the time and intensity of physical activity for kids, both in and outside of the school day.
- Improve access to physical activity in our communities.
- Increase access to healthy and affordable foods.
- Use pricing strategies to promote the purchase of healthier foods.
- Reduce kids’ exposure to marketing of unhealthy foods.
None of these policy priorities are terribly costly, but all will require buy-in from individuals, families, communities, government, and industry. We can’t just talk about doing better. It is well past time for action, and it is up to us to make that happen. If we don’t, we will all pay the price.
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