Fighting obesity will require changes everywhere Americans live, work, play and learn, says a major new report that outlines dozens of options – from building more walkable neighborhoods to zoning limits on fast-food restaurants to selling healthier snacks in sports arenas.
But schools should be a national focus because that’s where children spend most of their day, eat a lot of their daily calories – and should be better taught how to eat healthy and stay fit, the influential Institute of Medicine said Tuesday.
Among the most controversial of the recommendations: Communities could consider a tax on sugary sodas and offering price breaks for healthier beverage choices.
That prompted outrage from the American Beverage Association.
“Advocating discriminatory policies that uniquely focus on sugar-sweetened beverages is the wrong approach,” said an association statement that added those drinks account for just 7 percent of calories in the average person’s diet.
Most of us know we should eat less and move more. But the institute makes clear this isn’t just an individual but a societal problem: For a host of reasons, sedentary lives have become the norm and we’re surrounded by cheap, high-calorie foods.
The new report offers a roadmap of the most promising strategies to change that – and argues that the solutions can’t be implemented piecemeal.
“Each of us has this role. We can’t sit back and let the schools do it, or let a mayor do it or think somehow the federal government’s going to solve it,” said report co-author William Purcell III, former mayor of Nashville, Tenn. “These recommendations require concerted effort among all.”
A health advocacy group urged governments, industry and schools to adopt the recommendations.
“The country has begun to address obesity but we are still doing far too little given the tremendous burden it places on our health and health care costs,” said Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Two-thirds of U.S. adults and almost a third of children are either overweight or obese, and progress to stop this epidemic has been too slow, the Institute of Medicine concluded.
For schools, it recommended that students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – a combination of physical education, recess and other activities. Many schools have slashed P.E. and cut into recess in recent years in an effort to increase learning time amid tighter budgets. The report also says schools should serve healthier foods, backing national school nutrition standards, and teach nutrition.
Other recommendations include:
-Restaurants should ensure that at least half of kids’ meals comply with federal dietary guidelines, without charging more for the healthier options.
-Healthier foods should be routinely available everywhere, from shopping malls to sports arenas.
-More food companies should improve how they market to children – and if they don’t, the government should step in and mandate changes.
-To make physical activity routine, communities should be designed with safe places to walk and exercise.
-Public and private insurers should ensure better access to obesity screening, preventive services and treatments.
-Employers should expand workplace wellness programs.
-The president should appoint a task force to evaluate the impact of U.S. agriculture policies on obesity.
The Institute of Medicine, an arm of the National Academy of Sciences, is an independent organization that advises the government.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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