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
Program is fighting obesity epidemic among veterans
Fox 6 Now, 6.12.13 With every step and bead of sweat comes a sense of accomplishment as this group of warriors are taking control of their health. “I actually feel great about myself. It makes me feel like I’ve done something with my life,” says Move Out participant Nimrod Allen Jr. As the obesity crisis grows, VA officials began noticing this problem among our service men and women returning to civilian life. “It`s possible that a stress response of over eating is something that manifests especially because we`re pushing so hard to avoid the stress response of over smoking or over drinking,” says Dr. Jeff Whittle with the Zablocki VA Medical Center. This prompted the Zablocki VA Medical Center to kick off project Move Out. It’s a weight management program for vets that offers group fitness classes and healthy eating workshops. “It helped me out to stay focused, meet new friends, and help me to exercise more,” says Allen. Since joining the program Aivars Bergmanis lost 50 pounds! Now he’s inspiring others to do the same.
Latinos lack access to healthy foods, new research shows
San Antonio Business Journal, 6.13.13 U.S. Hispanic neighborhoods tend to have more fast-food restaurants and snack vendors than supermarkets and farmers’ markets. As such, those neighborhoods do not have adequate access to affordable, healthier foods, according to new research from Salud America! — The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children. RWJF officials say policies that introduce supermarkets or farmers’ markets in Latino communities, expand healthy offerings in places like bodegas (small grocers), or reduce costs of healthy foods can improve Latino families’ access to and purchase of healthier foods. The new research material promotes a number of initiatives that could encourage more supermarkets and farmers’ markets to set up shop in Latino neighborhoods.
Cities battle hunger crisis where unhealthy food is everywhere
MSNBC, 6.7.13 Good teachers always watch for signs of abuse or distress among school children, but in Birmingham, Ala., another problem demands constant vigilance: a lack of adequate nutrition. The clues aren’t always straightforward. Mary Michael Kelley, director of the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, recalls the case of a third grader who started crying inconsolably during class one morning. After refusing at first to tell her teacher what was wrong, she explained that her dad was in jail and her mom—broke and out of food stamps—had instructed her older sister to steal food from the school cafeteria. The child understood her mom’s dilemma, but she worried her sister would get caught and land in her father’s predicament. The food bank has since launched a Weekenders Backpack Program to help schools identify kids who need weekend meals to supplement the ones they get at school. Every week, volunteers pack dried grits, canned meals and fruit leather into pouches distributed through 17 local schools. On Fridays, 2,000 at-risk children take them home to tide them over until Monday.
USDA Promotes Efforts to Ensure Children Have Access to Healthy Food during the Summer Monthsre soda and eat fewer vegetables, study says
USDA, 6.10.13 Today, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off National Summer Food Service Program Week by reiterating USDA's commitment to ensuring that no child goes hungry when school is out and highlighting progress towards USDA's goal of serving 5 million more meals to eligible kids across the country. "When school is out during the summer months, many families struggle to feed their children even one nutritious meal a day," said Vilsack. "Government cannot address this challenge alone, which is why, this week, we join our valued partners to raise awareness about the nutrition gap low-income children face when schools close for the summer. Working together, we can make sure children have access to nutritious food year-round." National Summer Food Service Program week is a national push to promote USDA's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and other initiatives across the country to feed more low-income children when school is out.
Ford, UAW seek healthier workers with pilot program incentivesOptions Could Influence Obesity Risk
Detroit News, 6.10.13 Detroit autoworkers have long been stereotyped as hard-drinking, overweight smokers. But Ford Motor Co. and the United Auto Workers hope to help dispel that image and lower the automaker's health care costs through financial incentives to factory employees who make healthy lifestyle choices. Details are still being hammered out, but the two sides hope to announce the voluntary pilot program next month, according to people close to the talks. Other American automakers are watching what happens in Dearborn closely and could follow Ford with wellness incentive programs of their own as the industry struggles to rein in rising health care costs. "As part of the 2011 collective bargaining agreement, Ford and the UAW agreed to further discuss health initiatives," Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski said in a statement to The Detroit News. "We have nothing further to announce at this time."
Is USA finally kicking its sugar habit?
USA Today, 6.3.13 Not too many years ago, in a nation mostly raised on sugary treats and sweetened drinks, such stories of kids rejecting sweets would have been met with skepticism — if not derision. But America's sweet tooth is finally being tamed — at least, a bit. In a nation obsessed with weight loss and healthier eating habits, children are eating far fewer sugary sweets than they did 15 years ago, according to data crunched exclusively for USA TODAY by the research specialist NPD Group. The numbers are eye-popping and the change — which is already impacting the country's biggest makers and sellers of all things sweet — appears irreversible because the decline is only accelerating.
How Cuts to Food Stamps Threaten Children’s Health
Wired, 6.3.13 As Congress considers whether to shrink programs that help poor people buy food, some public health experts say the short- and long-term health of perhaps tens of thousands of children could be jeopardized. These researchers point to dozens of studies on families who have trouble putting food on their tables. Again and again, the studies show that food insecurity leaves children vulnerable to illness and slows their cognitive development. On the issue of food assistance, policy runs straight into biology. “They’re cutting the programs that help kids stay healthy,” said public health nutritionist Mariana Chilton of Drexel University. “We’re going to see the consequences of this for a generation if we don’t help our kids.”
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
Sign up for our free Obesity News Summary, published weekly. Stay current on the issues and our progress.
Help us advance America's journey to healthy weight. Make a contribution to the nonprofit Campaign to End Obesity.