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Institute of Medicine issues recommendations for fighting obesity epidemic
05.10.2012As obesity rates continue to increase, chronic health conditions are taking a greater toll on society. The Institute of Medicine recently released a set of recommendations to help the U.S. battle the problem and start turning back obesity rates.
The group said that a coordinated, society-wide effort is needed to address the obesity epidemic. In a society where being overweight is viewed as normal and unhealthy lifestyles are standard, few individuals will take the initiative to lose weight on their own. Deep, pervasive changes are needed.
The agency laid out a set of five recommendations for steering public policy. These include limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children, encouraging schools to spend more time on physically active lessons, helping businesses support the health of their workers, making sure healthy food options are available everywhere and encouraging individuals to incorporate physical activity into everyday tasks.
Recommendations in the report were made in direct response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Weight of the Nation initiative, which seeks to educate individuals about the dangers of obesity and some of the steps they can take to avoid the problem. The group hopes that the report will help prompt new public policy debates about how to address rising obesity rates.
"Obesity is both an individual and societal concern, and it will take action from all of us - individuals, communities, and the nation as a whole - to achieve a healthier society," said Institute of Medicine president Harvey Fineberg.
Estimates indicate that about one-third of adults in the U.S. are obese, while another one-third are overweight. These individuals are at risk of developing conditions like diabetes and heart disease. Healthcare and wellness programs could help obese people avoid these complications.
Categories: Health and Wellness
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