Light Treatment for a Heavy Matter

Have you heard about the documentary, Weight of the Nation™, on HBO in four parts starting on May 14th? The show is so important that HBO is airing it for free! It coincides with a conference in Washington this week also called, Weight of the Nation, hosted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. (What a mouthful!) The conference showcased the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) new report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation.

The IOM evaluated prior obesity prevention strategies and identified recommendations to accelerate progress. They say:

  • Integrate physical activity every day in every way (e.g. make more green space)
  • Make healthy foods and beverages available everywhere (e.g. health vending machines)
  • Market what matters for a healthy life (e.g. industry-wide guidelines on food and drinks marketed to kids)
  • Activate employers and health care professionals (e.g. more worksite wellness programs – yawn)
  • Strengthen schools as the heart of health (e.g. 60 minutes of physical activity in schools every day! That’s after you lay-off the teachers and teach to the test.)

Do you remember last November when the IOM recommended ways to made school lunch healthier? Congress sold out to Big Food in the “pizza as a vegetable” fiasco. I wrote about it for Diets In Review, Congress Denies All Changes to School Lunch Throwing Children’s Health Under the Bus.

Sorry, but I’ve been following this issue going on 40 years, and don’t think this will make a difference. I see the ultimate solution (to all things) as coming from the people. Kids who were practically born fat and sick will find their indignation and provide the critical mass needed to turn the tide toward all things healthy.  Alternately, a good famine could save the day. In the end, only the obese will survive!

Read all of the IOM’s recommendations here.

Your thoughts: What will it take to fix the obesity crisis?