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.

It’s gotten harder to lose weight and not for the reasons you think
The Washington Post, 10.01.15
Losing weight is hard — and it’s getting harder. That’s not an excuse, a group of researchers say, it’s science. A study from York University published recently in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice looked at dietary and exercise data for tens of thousands of Americans over the past four decades and found an unsettling but perhaps not so surprising trend: Even when he had the same diet and same activity level, a given adult in 2006 had a higher BMI than a counterpart of the same age in 1988.

With Increasing Obesity, Children's Heart And Diabetes Risks Rise
Forbes, 09.30.15
The number of adults in the U.S. who are overweight or obese—more than two-thirds—has become worrisome enough. But the number of overweight and obese kids, though less than that of adults, is also growing, and especially troubling since the signs of heart disease and diabetes can follow from eerily early in childhood. A couple of weeks ago, the case study of the youngest person ever to be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—at three years old—was presented at a diabetes conference in Europe. A new study in The New England Journal of Medicine lays out what happens in the body when kids are not just overweight, but various levels of obese. And extreme obesity seems to pose considerably more risks than mild obesity.

The Price We Pay for Sitting Too Much
The Wall Street Journal, 09.30.15
New research is helping medical experts devise formulas for how long a typical office worker should spend sitting and standing. Studies have found that sedentary behavior, including sitting for extended periods, increases the risk for developing dozens of chronic conditions, from cancer and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Some ergonomics experts warn that too much standing also can have negative effects on health, including greater risk for varicose veins, back and foot problems, and carotid artery disease. “The key is breaking up your activity throughout the day,” said Alan Hedge, a professor of ergonomics at Cornell University. “Sitting all day and standing all day are both bad for you.”

Food Insecurity And Inactivity Are Driving The Obesity Epidemic
The Huffington Post, 09.23.15
Obesity rates in Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio and Utah are on the rise, while rates in other states are holding steady, according to a new report on the state of obesity in America from the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Poll Highlights Importance of Nutritious School Meals for Every Child
The Huffington Post, 09.22.15
Last October, I wrote about Bistro Kids, a Kansas City-based program that augments the federally funded meals at Head Start preschools by connecting kids with healthy, local food, teaching them about good nutrition and giving them a hands-on experience to cook healthy food. The wonderful thing about Bistro Kids is that it reaches children during their formative years, when they're developing lifelong tastes and eating habits.

Little sign of improvement in U.S. obesity rates
CBS News, 09.21.15
New government data shows that in most states, the rate of adult obesity is not improving. But some experts say they see good news in the fact that for the most part obesity rates aren't getting worse.

Policymakers must take obesity seriously (opinion piece)
The Hill, 9.18.15
According to Tommy Thompson, former Wisconsin Governor and former Secretary of Health and Human Services: “More than two years after the American Medical Association declared obesity to be a disease, we still are not using all of the tools available to us to help reduce this costly—and deadly—condition.”

Committee delays reauthorization of healthy school meal rules
The Hill, 9.16.15
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) says he needs more time to finish writing legislation to reauthorize healthy-meal requirements for schools. The Senate Agriculture Nutrition & Forestry Committee was expected to mark up a package reauthorizing the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act on Thursday. But Roberts, the panel's chairman, is still negotiating parts of the bill with Democrats and waiting on the Congressional Budget Office to release cost estimates for new provisions in the proposed legislation.

In school cafeterias, a longer lunch is a more healthful lunch, study says
The Los Angeles Times, 9.11.15
In the continuing quest to improve the health quotient of school lunches, experts have proposed fancy chefs, cutesy lunch boxes and smiley-faced stickers. Now comes a more straightforward suggestion – just make the lunch period longer.

Excess Weight at Age 50 Tied to Earlier Alzheimer’s Onset
The New York Times, 09.10.15
Being obese at age 50 may be tied to an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease at a younger age.

Surgeon General Calls for Steps to Promote Healthy Walking
UN News Centre, 09.09.15
WASHINGTON — Take a walk: That's the U.S. surgeon general's prescription for sedentary Americans — but communities will have to step up, too, and make neighborhoods easier and safer for foot traffic.

Half Of Adults In The U.S. Have Diabetes Or Pre-Diabetes, Study Finds
Forbes, 09.08.15
According to a study published online in JAMA today, nearly 50% of adults living in the U.S. have diabetes or pre-diabetes, a condition where a person already has elevated blood sugar and is at risk to develop diabetes.

USDA allocates $8M for schools struggling to make healthier meals
The Hill, 09.08.15
The Obama administration is allocating an additional $8 million to help schools that are still struggling to meet first lady Michelle Obama's prized nutrition standards. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the additional funding for the department’s Team Up Program while speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday. State agencies, Vilsack said, will receive $2.6 million for training programs to help school districts meet new professional standards for cafeteria staff that took effect on July 1. The remaining $5.6 million will go to support the department’s Smarter Lunchrooms strategies effort, with up to $350,000 going to help states fund research-based ideas to increase participation in school meal programs.

Your Commute Could Help You Lose Weight
The Wall Street Journal, 08.11.15
A 15-minute walk to a light-rail station might not seem like much of a workout. But such walks, twice every workday, could help millions of people meet exercise guidelines and get fitter without setting foot in a gym, researchers say.

Gastric Balloon Could Inflate Your Weight-Loss Success
CBS News (Miami), 08.10.15
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Insert a balloon into your stomach, start to lose weight. Those are the basics of a new procedure you can only get from a University of Miami doctor.

The science of skipping breakfast: How government nutritionists may have gotten it wrong
The Washington Post, 08.10.15
Researchers at a New York City hospital several years ago conducted a test of the widely accepted notion that skipping breakfast can make you fat. For some nutritionists, this idea is an article of faith. Indeed, it is enshrined in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the federal government’s advice book, which recommends having breakfast every day because “not eating breakfast has been associated with excess body weight.”

More than 100 Members of Congress Ask for Passage of the Treat and Reduce Obesity Act of 2015 During Medicare's 50th Anniversary Celebration
07.30.15, PR Newswire
TAMPA, Fla., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Treat and Reduce Obesity Act (TROA) of 2015 (HR 2404 and S 1509) continues to gain momentum with 101 members of the House of Representatives and 10 members of the Senate co-sponsoring this important legislation. The Act, originally introduced by Representatives Paulsen (R-MN); and Kind (D-WI); and Senators Carper (D-DE) and Cassidy (R-LA), aims to provide Medicare beneficiaries with additional treatment tools to help individuals address their overweight and obesity.

CDC: 1 in 9 children have high blood pressure
The Hill, 07.29.15
Public health and science groups are working to debunk the reason why GOP members and special interest say target sodium levels in school lunches should stay where they are. As part of the first lady’s prized healthy school lunch nutrition standards in the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, schools were required in the 2014-2015 school year to reduce sodium levels in high school lunches to 1,420 milligrams over the course of a week. By July 2017, the law requires schools further reduce those levels to 1,000 mg in high school lunches.

FDA OKs Nonsurgical Device for Treating Obesity
The Wall Street Journal, 07.28.15
The Food and Drug Administration approved a nonsurgical device for treating obesity that includes two connected silicone balloons filled with salt water that are placed in a patient’s stomach.

Study: School lunches now healthier at racially diverse schools
The Hill, 07.27.15
First Lady Michelle Obama’s prized healthy school lunch standards have given students at smaller and racially diverse schools access to healthier lunches, a new study from a heath and health care advocacy group found. The study, commissioned by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that during the 2010-2011 school year, the odds of having both fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, available everyday was 2.4 and 2.3 times higher, respectively, for students in predominantly white middle schools than for students in more diverse schools.

Americans Are Finally Eating Less
The New York Times, 07.24.15
After decades of worsening diets and sharp increases in obesity, Americans’ eating habits have begun changing for the better. Calories consumed daily by the typical American adult, which peaked around 2003, are in the midst of their first sustained decline since federal statistics began to track the subject, more than 40 years ago. The number of calories that the average American child takes in daily has fallen even more — by at least 9 percent.

Time to address obesity as a priority for Medicare
The Hill, 07.23.15
Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Gerontological Society of America James Appleby, BPharm, MPH, wrote the following piece for the The Hill's Congress blog: When we think of the health problems that tend to affect us in our senior years, arthritis immediately comes to mind. So do cognitive disorders, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. And, of course, there is a greater likelihood of the need for joint replacements as we get older.

Newspapers can predict obesity so don’t say we never did anything for you
The Washington Post, 07.22.15
If you're looking for a way to predict future obesity trends, maybe you should buy a newspaper. I promise this post is not just a lame attempt to keep my profession afloat. It's not! There was a real study to back me up here. That study, published in the journal BMC Public Health, looked at two media outlets — the New York Times and the Times of London — and found that in both newspapers, mentions of food might be indicators of how a nation's obesity level is trending.

Study: Probability of Obese People Reaching ‘Normal’ Weight Less Than 1%
CBS News, 07.20.15
WASHINGTON — Despite the fact that the diet industry does several billion dollars worth of business in the U.S. alone each year, a new study published in the American Journal of Public Health suggests that most obese people will never achieve a “normal” weight.

ND generals ask Congress to promote act that fights obesity
Associated Press, 07.09.15
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Senior military leaders from North Dakota said Thursday that federal nutrition standards for schools should not be watered down or eliminated because they are helping to curb an obesity epidemic that is hurting the recruitment of new soldiers. Retired Gens. Michael Haugen, Keith Bjerke, Jerald Engelman and Robert Schulte said during a news conference at the Fargo Air Museum that the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act may not be perfect, but it should be reauthorized without attempts to weaken or roll back guidelines.

CEP enhances existing school lunch and breakfast programs
The Hill, 07.08.15
Congress did the right thing when it enacted the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP) in 2010 to help alleviate hunger among our nation’s most vulnerable children. With the Aug. 31 deadline approaching for high-poverty schools to decide if they want to participate in the CEP, it’s important that policy makers, school administrators, parents and others know what a smart opportunity the CEP is and know as well that a recent op-ed in The Hill substitutes fiction for fact (“Is free school lunch the next great American entitlement program?” July 1) .

GOP has knives out for school lunch rules
The Hill, 07.07.15
First lady Michelle Obama’s signature school lunch regulations are coming under fresh fire from GOP lawmakers, who view impending reauthorization legislation as their best chance yet to dial back the controversial nutrition standards. Republicans are convening a series of hearings to highlight criticism of the regulations, a pillar of the first lady’s initiative to curb childhood obesity in the United States.

UC Davis Study Identifies Tools, Strategies for Enhancing Obesity Prevention in Rural Communities
PRWeb, 07.07.15
Researchers at UC Davis have reviewed a successful telemedicine intervention against pediatric obesity to better understand what worked (or didn’t) and how similar programs can be improved.

Engineering student combines gaming, Fitbit tech to address childhood obesity
ASU News, 07.06.15
A self-proclaimed hippie from Boulder, Colorado, ASU student Courtney Van Bussum is a locavore and at her happiest when hiking, perusing farmers markets, or practicing and teaching yoga as a certified yoga instructor. “The general consensus in Boulder, Colorado, is that if you aren’t outside hiking or inside doing yoga, you’re probably doing something wrong,” said Van Bussum who will be a junior in the fall, majoring in biomedical engineering at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering within Barrett, The Honors College.

For low-income kids, meals aplenty this summer
USA Today, 06.25.15
WASHINGTON — A chorus of "thank yous" filled the room as each child reached for his or her packaged meal. Breakfast at the Barry Farm Recreation Center was served: A nectarine, a muffin and a carton of milk for each kid.

Schools ask for more flexibility in school lunch regs
The Hill, 06.24.15
School districts were back before lawmakers Wednesday to ask for more flexibility in the first lady’s prized healthy school lunch regulations, which they say have made school lunches unappealing. Though the regulations are well-intended, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), chair of the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education, said states and schools are struggling.

If current trends hold, childhood obesity will hit 70 million by 2025, warns UN health agency
UN News Centre, 06.22.15
22 June 2015 – Childhood obesity does not arise from lifestyle choices made by the child, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today, stressing that the huge problem, especially in developing countries on the marketing of sugar-rich non-alcoholic beverages, ultra-processed, energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods.

More Than Two Thirds of Americans Are Overweight or Obese
Time, 06.22.15
Most Americans are overweight, according to a new study looking at overweight and obesity rates in the United States. In a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis studied data from 2007 to 2012 of a nationally representative group of 15,208 people ages 25 or older.

F.D.A. Commissioner Leaving After Six Years of Breakneck Changes
The New York Times, 02.05.15
Dr. Margaret Hamburg, the commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, who led the agency for nearly six years through a period of rapid change in medical science, announced Thursday that she was stepping down.

Foundation throws $1B into fight against child obesity
Politico Pro, 02.05.15
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is doubling its financial commitment to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, bringing a total of $1 billion to the fight. The foundation — the largest nonprofit dedicated to health in the U.S. — will announce a new $500 million pledge at an event with first lady Michelle Obama at a high school in New York City Thursday afternoon. The commitment follows a $500 million pledge the group made in 2007 that aimed to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.

Light Jogging May Be The Key To Long Life, Study Finds
The Huffington Post, 02.03.15
Although there are no sure-fire prescriptions for long life, exercise has often been touted as the key to good health for both young and old. But a new Danish study has discovered that too much physical activity actually does more harm than good. Instead, researchers found that light jogging is best when it comes to longevity.

Researchers Say When You Eat Each Day May Be Crucial to Weight Loss
Wall Street Journal, 02.02.15
Most diet advice focuses on calories and nutrients, but new research suggests that when you eat may be just as important. That’s one conclusion of a new study by Dr. Satchidananda Panda, an associate professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, in La Jolla, Calif. Mice that were forced to limit how many hours they ate were thinner than mice that chowed down whenever they wanted, Dr. Panda’s team found. This was true no matter what kind of unhealthy diet the mice ate.

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