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The Obesity Society Hails Republican Platform; Forum Set for Sept. 2 to Continue as Planned

Lesley Stahl to Moderate Panel With Huckabee, Thompson, Clegg in St. Paul

SILVER SPRING, Md., Sept. 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gary Foster, President of The Obesity Society applauded the GOP Platform Committee's action, stating: "The growing awareness of the obesity epidemic is leading to new strategies at the national and local levels as our policymakers seek ways to combat this problem. We hope that these events shine a spotlight on this issue and lead to practical recommendations for the next Administration."

Obesity Society officials said Monday they were pleased the Republican National Convention's Platform Committee responded to their urging that obesity be addressed in the platform. The Platform awaits ratification by the full convention.

The language states that in many cases, preventable conditions are driving health care costs, consuming three of every four health care dollars. The platform calls for increased personal responsibility within a culture of wellness, while increasing access to preventive services, including improved nutrition and breakthrough medications that keep people healthy and out of the hospital. "We call for a national grassroots campaign against obesity, especially among children. We call for continuation of efforts to decrease use of tobacco, especially among the young," it states.

The Obesity Society, the leading professional and scientific organization dedicated to the study of obesity, announced that its forum will hold its policy forum as planned at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Lesley Stahl of CBS' 60 Minutes will moderate and headliners will include former HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson on behalf of the McCain Presidential Campaign; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; and New Hampshire State Senator Bob Clegg.

The forum will be open to the media, delegates and the general public. It will be held on September 2nd from 8 AM until 12:30 PM at the historic James L. Hill Research Library Reading Room, located on 80 West 4th Street, (NOTE: Convention credentials are not necessary but guests should bring a copy of the invitation or press release and a photo ID due to convention security.)

Thompson is scheduled to speak at 9:30 a.m. CT; Clegg at 10:00 a.m.; and Huckabee at 10:20 a.m.

The forum will also include the most prominent experts in the field of obesity, including Executive Vice President Morgan Downey and Dr. Caroline Apovian of the Obesity Society, Dr. Michael Jensen of the Mayo Clinic, and Dr. Charles Billington and Dr. Allen Levine of the University of Minnesota. Eric Finkelstein, PhD, a health economist in RTI's Public Health Economics Program, will also make a presentation.

The forum, entitled "The Challenge of Obesity for Policy Makers: Recommendations for the Next Administration," will be co-sponsored by the University of Minnesota, the Mayo Clinic, George Washington University and the University of Colorado. It follows a similar forum held at the Democratic National Convention in Denver on August 25.

Morgan Downey, Executive Vice President of the Society said, "We were gratified both the Democratic and Republican Platform Committees have included obesity in their platform for the first time. (For details, go to

SOURCE The Obesity Society
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