Study: It takes a village to fight obesity

May 8, 2012 at 5:32 PM
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WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- By 2030, U.S. obesity rates will increase 42 percent and the severely obese -- 80 pounds or more -- will rise from 5 percent to 11 percent, officials say.

A report by the Institute of Medicine said there is going to be roughly 32 million obese U.S. adults by 2030 and that means an increase of $550 billion in total between now and 2030 due to obesity.

The report focused on five critical goals for preventing obesity: Integrating physical activity into people's daily lives, making healthy food and beverage options available everywhere, transforming marketing and messages about nutrition and activity, making schools a gateway to healthy weights and galvanizing employers and healthcare professionals to support healthy lifestyles.

"As the trends show, people have a very tough time achieving healthy weights when inactive lifestyles are the norm and inexpensive, high-calorie foods and drinks are readily available 24 hours a day," Dan Glickman, executive director of congressional programs, Aspen Institute in Washington and former secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said in a statement. "Individuals and groups can't solve this complex problem alone, and that's why we recommend changes that can work together at the societal level and reinforce one another's impact to speed our progress."

The committee assessed more than 800 obesity prevention recommendations to identify those that could work together most effectively, Glickman said.

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