The Current State of Obesity Solutions in the United States - Workshop Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

For the first time in decades, promising news has emerged regarding efforts to curb the obesity crisis in the United States. For example, obesity rates have fallen among low-income children in several states, the prevalence of obesity has plateaued among girls, and targeted efforts in some states have reduced the prevalence of obesity among children. Yet major problems remain. Diseases associated with obesity continue to incur substantial costs and cause widespread human suffering. Moreover, substantial disparities in obesity rates exist among population groups, and in some cases these disparities are widening.

In 2013, the IOM formed the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions to engage leadership from multiple sectors in addressing the obesity crisis. The roundtable’s membership includes representatives of public health, health care, government, the food industry, education, philanthropy, the nonprofit sector, and academia. On January 7, 2014, the roundtable held its first public workshop where presenters described interventions designed to prevent and treate obesity in different settings. This document summarizes the workshop.