Two-thirds of adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese. Left unchecked, obesity’s effects on health, health care costs, and our productivity as a nation could become catastrophic.
The staggering human toll of obesity-related chronic disease and disability, and an annual cost of $190.2 billion for treating obesity-related illness, underscore the urgent need to strengthen prevention efforts in the United States. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation asked the IOM to identify catalysts that could speed progress in obesity prevention.
The IOM evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to meet the following goals and accelerate progress
- Integrate physical activity every day in every way
- Market what matters for a healthy life
- Make healthy foods and beverages available everywhere
- Activate employers and health care professionals
- Strengthen schools as the heart of health
On their own, accomplishing any one of these might help speed up progress in preventing obesity, but together, their effects will be reinforced, amplified, and maximized.