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Press Release

The Obesity Society Commends Administration for Proposed Food Labeling Improvements

Congratulates the First Lady for Four Years of Let's Move

PR Newswire

SILVER SPRING, Md., Feb. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- During a celebratory event at the White House today, First Lady Michelle Obama joined U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to announce the first update to food nutrition labels in more than two decades. The announcement came on the fourth anniversary of Let's Move, an important national public health campaign drawing attention to the significant benefits that lifestyle interventions, such as diet and exercise, can have on our nation's health.

The Obesity Society Logo

The benefits of exercise and a healthy diet for improving health, for adults and children, are irrefutable based on numerous scientific studies. Research from the Diabetes Prevention Program demonstrates that healthy changes to diet and exercise and modest weight reduction can reduce diabetes risk by almost 60% among adults with obesity and prediabetes. The obesity guidelines recently released by The Obesity Society (TOS), the American Heart Association, and the American College of Cardiology further confirm the benefit of modest weight loss on preventing or improving diabetes, as well as often improving physical functioning, reducing pain from osteoarthritis, and improving quality of life.

"We congratulate First Lady Michelle Obama for her efforts over four years to incorporate everyday fitness routines and healthier food choices into the lives of America's children," said TOS President Steven Smith, MD. "Better food labeling can equip consumers with access to the most comprehensive information about the foods they consume. Modifications to the Nutrition Facts panel to reflect changes in serving size information, more prominently displayed total caloric content, and the addition of total added sugar, among other changes, have the potential to help consumers truly understand what's in their food."

"With obesity prevalence remaining at a historical high, the promotion of healthy behaviors as well as support for scientific research on the prevention and treatment of obesity are paramount," said Dr. Smith. "As a complement to research efforts, education and outreach for obesity prevention from the Let's Move campaign, and other community efforts, will help us triumph over this complex, chronic disease. With nearly one in three children in the U.S. affected by overweight or obesity, it is clear that continued work is needed to arm our nation's children, and their parents, guardians, teachers – and doctors – with better tools to make informed choices to prevent and treat this disease."

In addition to better educational tools for consumers, TOS encourages the integration of effective obesity prevention and treatment programs into the healthcare environment. As part of its Treat Obesity Seriously program, the organization is working to educate physicians about talking with patients about their weight and how excess weight can impact health.

"We're disseminating free materials to support clinicians in their practices, and recently launched a free continuing medical education series on the DoctorsChannel.com," said Dr. Smith. "The series features leading obesity experts providing guidance for physicians on the importance of weight loss for health and identifying the best treatment plan to meet each individual patient's needs."

TOS is planning to take the campaign a step further in 2014, with continued efforts to improve clinician education and reduce weight bias. Find out more about the campaign at TreatObesitySeriously.org.

About The Obesity Society 
The Obesity Society (TOS) is the leading professional society dedicated to better understanding, preventing and treating obesity. Through research, education and advocacy, TOS is committed to improving the lives of those affected by the disease. For more information visit: www.Obesity.org.

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120531/DC16753LOGO

SOURCE The Obesity Society

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