There’s no question that obesity is an urgent threat to our nation’s health, economy, and future.
More than two-thirds of adults and almost one-third of children in the United States—about 120 million Americans in total—are at risk for serious health problems because of their weight. Obesity costs our country nearly $150 billion each year. Experts continue to predict dramatic jumps in the wrong direction if we fail to change the policies and systems that are fueling this health crisis.
In late August, President Obama confirmed federal support for addressing the epidemic by declaring September 2011 National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
. This issue has risen to the top of our nation’s health care priorities for many reasons, including public demand for change.
Public support for tackling childhood obesity has been—and remains—extremely strong. Since 2007, American adults have rated childhood obesity as the biggest health problem kids face. We’ve seen significant growth in media clips, tweets, TV stories and many other layers of coverage around the epidemic. Media and social media attention, in addition to the impressive cadre of elected officials, advocates, and researchers who have influenced congressional testimony, USDA rules, and federal working groups, have contributed to the broader movement responsible for lifting this issue right up to the White House.
Burness has worked for nearly four years with leading experts and projects funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to support their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Follow the RWJF Childhood Obesity team on Twitter
to learn more about their work.