Friday, January 29, 2010

Surgeon General Seeks "New Normal" on Obesity Efforts

Surgeon General Regina M. Benjamin is calling for the establishment of a "new normal" in the war on obesity and overweight, in which the goals transcend the current fixation on numerical targets associated with weight or the body-mass index (BMI). Benjamin was joined by First Lady Michelle Obama and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sibelius in releasing her first official report, entitled The Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation 2010.

"The real reward has to be something that people can feel and enjoy and celebrate," Benjamin writes. "That reward is invigorating, energizing, joyous health. It is a level of health that allows people to embrace each day and live their lives to the fullest—without disease, disability, or lost productivity."

Benjamin's report seeks to update, strengthen and expand the 2001 Surgeon General’s Call to Action on obesity and overweight issued by then-Surgeon General David Satcher. She identifies opportunities for prevention to make a difference in numerous settings - the home, the community, child care settings, schools, work sites and the medical community.

The first lady recently announced that she will launch a major initiative on childhood obesity in the next few weeks and has asked HHS to play a key role.



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