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Advocates fan the flame of progress in obesity policy

from Gwyn Cready, TOS Advocacy Committee Member

Citing programs such as breast feeding education, salads to schools, menu labeling and procurement, and the new obesity management certification for physicians, the panel of experts at this Advocacy Forum agreed we are making progress both in the use of evidence to drive obesity policy and in tackling obesity itself, but that there is still much work to do and that we need to "fan the flames" to increase the speed of change.

The Forum, which was intended to discuss the gap in obesity between what we know and what we do and explore the prospects for closing it, attracted a large and intent audience. The panel, moderated by Ted Kyle, R.Ph., and made up of William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Rebecca Puhl, Ph.D., Scott Kahan, M.D., and Donna Ryan, M.D., walked attendees through evidence-based efforts underway to fight obesity as well as some efforts which seem to be effective but have not been fully measured.

Audience members asked about the likelihood of insurers paying for effective treatments such as surgery and how to push for more evidence to support interventions that seem to be helping. The level of optimism over progress varied, but everyone agreed that the efforts discussed by panelists were encouraging and more work needs to be done. more

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