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F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future. Jeffrey Levi, PhD Executive Director Congressional Briefing January 26, 2011. Overview. The increasing rates of obesity and persisting disparities represent a significant threat to the nation’s health

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F as in Fat: How Obesity ThreatensAmerica’s Future

Jeffrey Levi, PhD

Executive Director

Congressional Briefing

January 26, 2011

Overview l.jpg

  • The increasing rates of obesity and persisting disparities represent a significant threat to the nation’s health

  • While the numbers are discouraging, there is an unprecedented level of public and private engagement in addressing this health challenge

  • To reverse the trend we must expand current obesity-prevention efforts and integrate obesity prevention into all relevant policies – from health care to housing and transportation

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Obesity Persists as a National Threat

  • Adult obesity rates continue to rise

  • Child and adolescent rates are stable, but significant

  • Disparities by race, income, and geography persist

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Adult Obesity Continues to Rise

  • More than two-thirds of states (38) have obesity rates above 25%

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Obesity Threatens Youth

  • 12 million children and adolescents are obese

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Disparities in Obesity Persist

  • Racial, ethnic, income, and regional disparities continue to persist

    • Black and Latino rates were higher than Whites in at least 40 states

    • 10 out of the 11 states with highest rates were in the South

    • 35.3% of adults earning less than $15,000/year were obese, compared with 24.5% of adults earning $50,000 or more/year

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Removing Barriers to Healthy Choices

  • Ready access to affordable healthy food

  • Ready access to safe places to be physically active

  • Integrating physical activity into school and work settings

  • Improving food choices in schools and at work

  • Access to health services that address obesity

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Fighting Childhood Obesity a Worthwhile Investment

  • 73% of Americans believe fighting childhood obesity is a worthwhile investment

    • 58% say it is a very important priority

  • 56% support expanded investment in anti-obesity programs, even if it costs billions of $

  • 61% believe childhood obesity is a problem we can solve in a generation

    • Views cross party lines and geographic lines

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Several Major Efforts

  • Let’s Move – creating a social movement

  • White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity

  • Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW)

    • Focus on communities creating coalitions to address obesity

  • Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act

    • Nutritional standards in schools

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New Opportunities

  • Prevention and Public Health Fund

    • Legislation specifies focus on obesity factors

      • Expansion of CPPW

      • Community Transformation Grants

      • Expansion and realignment of obesity-related CDC grants

  • Other Affordable Care Act Initiatives

    • CHIPRA childhood obesity demonstration

    • Coverage standards

    • Nutrition labeling

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    New Opportunities (Cont.)

    • National Prevention Strategy – thinking across silos (Health in All Policies)

    • FDA review of front-of-package labeling

    • Surface Transportation Reauthorization

    • Elementary and Secondary Education Act

    • Farm bill

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    Maintaining the Momentum

    • It will take a sustained effort to reverse a problem that has built over several generations

    • We see major new initiatives across levels of government and in the private sector

      • The public supports and believes in these investments

      • Increasing public investment through the Prevention Fund

      • Reassessing and re-evaluating policies and programs as we learn what works

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    For Further Information

    • Please visit our health reform website at: http://healthyamericans.org/health-reform/

    • The full text of F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010 is available at: http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2010/

    • Feel free to contact Jeff Levi, Executive Director, at jlevi@tfah.org if you have any further questions