Role of Policy and Government in the Obesity Epidemic

AHA: 11/6/12

In 2001, the Surgeon General’s “Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity”1 identified obesity as a key public health priority for the United States. Obesity rates were higher than ever, with 61% of adults nationwide overweight or obese. In the intervening years, several administrations have declared a commitment to deal with the problem, and the food industry has issued numerous pledges for change, yet the prevalence of overweight and obesity has risen further, to 68%.2 Children have been particularly affected; >19% of school-aged children were obese in 2007 to 2008 compared with just 6% in the late 1970s.3 Disease rates join high healthcare costs, so everyone is affected personally, economically, or both. Read More