Navigation Links
Are Americans ready to solve the weight of the nation?

In a Perspective article appearing in this week's New England Journal of Medicine, public health researchers examine how recommendations in a new report from the Institute of Medicine (IOM)"Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation"square with American's opinions about the obesity epidemic.

Over the last 30 years, rates of obesity have doubled among adults and tripled among children. The new IOM report summarizes growing evidence that these increases have been driven by a complex interaction of changes in the environments in which we liveour schools, our workplaces, our communities, in the media and in our food and beverage systems.

While praising the IOM report's scope and vision, Colleen L. Barry, PhD, MPP, associate professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author of "Are Americans Ready to Solve the Weight of the Nation?" says that it is critical to understand how the public thinks about the problem of obesity. Barry notes that one recent poll found that 64 percent of Americans believe personal decisionsovereating, lack of exercise, watching too much televisionare the biggest contributors to obesity. However, only 18 percent of Americans attribute environmental factors, such as safe places for children to play, access and availability of healthy foods and exposure to junk food, as major contributors.

"If people think obesity is all about individuals and parents making bad choices, they will be much less likely to embrace changes in schools, communities and food marketing practices aimed at creating healthier environments," said Barry.

Jeff Niederdeppe, PhD, assistant professor of communication at Cornell University and a co-author of the article, emphasized the need for "a research-driven communication strategy to encourage a better understanding of the environmental determinants of obesity among the public, and to emphasize the importance of waging a collective response to the epidemic." The IOM report was accompanied by a four-part HBO documentary series, "The Weight of the Nation," which Niederdeppe described as a great example of the kind of communication partnerships that are needed.

However, communications efforts on obesity should include careful attention to "the potential to increase already high levels of stigma toward obese adults and children, which can have lifelong psychological, social and health consequences," according to Sarah E. Gollust, PhD, assistant professor at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health and a co-author of the Perspective article. Gollust noted that the IOM recognized this concern and explicitly included as a guiding principle the notion that obesity prevention should not be achieved at the expense of overweight or obese individuals' well-being.

The authors concluded that while widespread awareness of obesity's causes and consequences will be necessary, increased awareness alone will not be sufficient to put in place the extensive actions that the IOM report stipulated will be necessary. A favorable political environment as well as leadership in multiple sectors and grassroots advocacy will be needed to support the efforts of the public health community to reduce obesity.

Contact: Tim Parsons
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Related medicine news :

1. Young Americans Need to Cut Calorie Intake: Study
2. Americans Support Medicare Reform, But Not on Their Dime: Poll
3. One-third of adult Americans with arthritis battle anxiety or depression
4. Systemic sclerosis complications more severe in African Americans than Caucasians
5. 53 million Americans might have diabetes by 2025, according to a new study in Population Health Management
6. Fewer Young Americans Smoking, Survey Finds
7. Genetic marker may predict smoking quantity in African Americans
8. Half of Americans with individual health plans could gain better coverage under the ACA
9. 1 in 5 Americans Has Untreated Cavities: CDC
10. WSU study finds overwhelming evidence of hidden heart disease in hypertensive African-Americans
11. More Than 46 Million Americans Uninsured in 2011: Report
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX ... Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over ... Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above media ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... As a lifelong Southern Californian, Dr. Omkar ... M.D from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He trained in Internal ... complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the UCLA-Olive View-Cedars Sinai program where he had ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, ... Bronze Wellness at Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in ... the 7th annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... A recent article ... people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that individuals are now ... of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. The Los Angeles ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, ... the dangers associated with chronic pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity ... who are suffering with Sickle Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 Revolutionary ... Oticon , industry leaders in advanced audiology ... of Oticon Opn ™, the world,s first internet ... possibilities for IoT devices.      (Photo: ... introduces a number of ,world firsts,: , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... MEDIA, Pa. , June 23, 2016 ... treatments in an outpatient dialysis facility.  Treatments are usually ... to 6 hours per visit, including travel time, equipment ... on a patient, but especially grueling for patients who ... residents of a skilled nursing and rehabilitation centers for ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016  Experian Health, the ... transforming the patient payment and care experience, ... new products and services that will enhance ... cycle offerings. These award-winning solutions will enable ... remain compliant in an ever-changing environment and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: