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Obesity Driving America's Healthcare to a Tipping Point
Date:9/9/2009

Obesity Experts and Surgeons General Call on Policymakers to Adopt Obesity Recommendations

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Obesity Society and other steering committee members of the Strategies to Overcome and Prevent (STOP) Obesity Alliance, and two former US Surgeons General, join together today to develop effective recommendations to urge policymakers to act on the inclusion of obesity as the largest and most urgent driving factor in healthcare reform.

The two most recent Surgeons General of the United States, David Satcher MD, PhD and Richard H. Carmona, MD, MPH, respectively 16th and 17th US Surgeons General, jointly urged policymakers to take direct action on obesity and its associated chronic diseases by including obesity as a key element in healthcare reform.

"Health reform will succeed only if we address obesity and the chronic diseases it causes," said Robert Kushner, MD, President of The Obesity Society. "Obesity is the number 1, most serious health issue facing the country. It is also the largest single driver of our increasing healthcare costs and we need to address it now."

More than one third of US adults -- more than 72 million people -- and 16 percent of US children are now estimated to be overweight or obese.(1) Obesity and overweight are associated with several chronic health risks and conditions, including: diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, some types of cancer, sleep apnea, osteoarthritis, and gallbladder disease.(2) Furthermore, the medical costs of obesity are now estimated at more than $147 billion per year.(3)

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SOURCE The Obesity Society
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