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2008 Presidential Hopefuls Fail to Respond to Questions About Obesity in U.S.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Campaign to End Obesity (the Campaign) announced today that 15 of the 17 2008 Democratic and Republican presidential candidates failed to respond to its inquiry about how each specifically plans to address the Nation's obesity epidemic if elected. Only Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and John Edwards (D-N.C.) responded to the Campaign's questionnaire, which was distributed to the candidates' campaign offices in early November.

"It is critical that obesity becomes a central focus of the next administration's health care platform. If it does not, all other health care reforms will be dwarfed by the rising physical, emotional and economic costs of this epidemic," said Jessica Donze Black, executive director of the Campaign. "Even though nearly three-quarters of American adults could be overweight or obese by the time the next president takes office (1), only two candidates have revealed how they would address this public health crisis. That should be reason for alarm."

The Campaign sent a letter and questionnaire to each presidential candidate calling for responses to specific issues that are critical to addressing the obesity epidemic. The questionnaire highlighted areas where the federal government can make an impact in reducing obesity, such as increasing opportunities for physical activity, improving nutrition and creating a health care delivery system that accounts for obese patients while offering prevention strategies.

Currently, only Governor Bill Richardson (D-N.M.) and former Governor Mike Huckabee (R) have offered health care platforms that describe obesity as a disease that requires federal attention.

The Campaign to End Obesity ( brings together individuals and organizations representing multiple sectors to collaborate in the fight to reverse America's costly obesity epidemic. Through engagement with and education of policymakers, public awareness initiatives and collaborative programs, the Campaign identifies and facilitates the changes needed to battle obesity, which is rapidly becoming the leading public health emergency facing our Nation.

(1) "The Public Health Effects of Sprawl," Congressional Briefing Summary by Environmental and Energy Study Institute. (2 October 2003) iefing%20Summary.pdf. 26 June 2005

SOURCE Campaign to End Obesity
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