Integrating physical activity into people's daily lives is 1 of 5 obesity prevention strategies proposed in a new report released Monday at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Weight of the Nation conference.
America's progress in arresting its obesity epidemic has been too slow, and the condition continues to erode productivity and cause millions of people to suffer from potentially debilitating and deadly chronic illnesses, says the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) report. Solving this complex, stubborn problem requires a comprehensive set of solutions that work together to spur across-the-board societal change.
The 4 other prevention strategies identified by the committee that wrote the report are making healthy food and beverage options available everywhere, transforming marketing and messages about nutrition and activity, making schools a gateway to healthy weights, and galvanizing employers and health care professionals to support healthy lifestyles. Specific tactics the authors noted include requiring at least 60 minutes per day of physical education and activity in schools, implementing industry-wide guidelines on which foods and beverages can be marketed to children and how, expanding workplace wellness programs, taking full advantage of physicians' roles to advocate for obesity prevention with patients and in the community, and increasing the availability of lower-calorie, healthier children's meals in restaurants.
The full report can be read online. A report brief and an infographic are available on IOM's website.
As reported last week in News Now, HBO will air a 4-part documentary series on obesity on May 14-15 as part of the Weight of the Nation initiative. DVD kits are available for organizations to host screenings of the films in their communities. The kits include the video series and discussion guides in English and Spanish that can be used to delve deeper into the concepts presented and spur individual and community action.