Saturday, February 20, 2010

The End of Obesity?

An article in the 2-5-10 issue of National Journal by Neil Munro says “The campaign against fat has failed, even backfired. Maybe it’s time to emphasize fitness instead of weight.”

The Journal notes “The XXXL-sized failure by government-funded public health professionals is demonstrated by the federal Healthy People 2010 education program, which in 2000 set a goal of reducing the obesity rate from 30 percent to 15 percent by this year. The rate has since stretched…to 33.8 percent of the adult population...”

Clearly the growth in obesity over the past decade suggests the need for a new approach. The article quotes a number of public health experts advocating that “government policy should shift away from condemning obesity and fatness toward promoting healthy lifestyles for everyone – fat and thin, slim and obese. Evidence is mounting that making people feel bad about their weight can lead to serious medical and lifestyle problems”

The article notes that “Michele Obama’s childhood-obesity campaign envisions government playing a larger role in getting people to live healthier lives.”

The article also highlights CDC’s 2009 recommended community strategies and measurements to prevent obesity. The RECOMMENDATIONS are especially useful in light of Partnership’s growing work to introduce health considerations into transportation policy. Nat’l Journal writes that the CDC recommendations: “…included a call for local government to … promote the rebuilding of neighborhoods and towns that encourage people to walk, bike, or take public transportation rather than drive.”

Ripley Forbes
Director, Government Affairs
Partnership for Prevention


Post a Comment