IOM Study Released Today: Obesity Needs to be Tackled Where We Live, Work, Learn and Play

May 8, 2012 by

IOM Study Released Today: Obesity Needs to be Tackled Where We Live, Work, Learn and Play

COPC’s exists to provide guidance and leadership in Washington state for obesity prevention and reduction. We work to promote sustainable policy solutions, and today the Institute of Medicine confirmed what we have believed since we formally began our efforts 5 years ago – that the obesity crisis is complex, it is not something that there is no one solution to fighting this epidemic. The study released by the IOM this morning “argues that people cannot truly exercise “personal choice” because their options are severely limited, and “biased toward the unhealthy end of the continuum.”

The report outlines several policy recommendations, including:

-Students get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day – a combination of physical education, recess and other activities.

-Schools should serve healthier foods, backing national school nutrition standards, and teach nutrition.

-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.

COPC is working to promote several of these policies on a state and/or local level here in Washington. This Summer, we will be releasing our Annual Policy Platform for the year ahead. We urge you to follow us and get involved in our work this year – look out for action alerts and other events. Not on our e-mail list? Send us a message at info@copcwa.org.

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