Nation’s Obesity Strategy a Failure

October 7th, 2011 by MorganDowney Leave a reply »

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued its 10 year review of the nation’s health care goals, set in 2000. For obesity the picture is not pretty. By direct measurement between 1988-94 and 2005-8, adults over 20 with obesity increased by nearly 47.8%. The target for 2010 was 15%. Children and adolescent rates increased by 63.5% from 11% to 18%. The 2010 target was 5%.  The report also not little to no progress on increasing the proportion of adults or adolescents engaged in regular vigorous physical activity.  Finally, the proportion of adults 20 and over at a healthy weight, directly measured, decreased by 26%; in 2008 only 31% of American adults were at a health weight, the Healthy People goal was 60%. The proportion of persons with healthy eating habits showed no change, still below targets.

CDC – National Center for Health Statistics Homepage

It has to be recognized that during this period millions of dollars have been spent in the public and private sector on educating the public on obesity and the message to ‘eat less and exercise more’ (ELEM).  One would think that this dismal outcome would encourage a critical reappraisal of the nation’s anti-obesity strategy. Alas, I wish it were so. I suspect that we will see merely a call to shout ELEM louder.