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US: White House taskforce issues report on fighting childhood obesity

The US government has released a report outlining steps to fight childhood obesity.  It has five main areas:

  • reducing the risk of obesity in early childhood
  • empowering parents and caregivers
  • improving food in schools
  • improving access to healthy, affordable food
  • increasing physical activity.

The Washington Post, in a summary of the report, warns:

“While many of the recommendations to food manufacturers and marketers rely on the enormous bully pulpit of the federal government as the motivation to act, the task force noted that agencies reserve the right to use more extreme measures — subpoenas and new regulations — if need be.”

Nutritionist Marion Nestle comments on the report in her blog:

“Good ideas, but there are some things I’m not so crazy about here. … Voluntary, as evidence demonstrates, does not work for the food industry.  Much leadership will be needed to make this plan work.  But these recommendations should give advocates plenty of inspiration to continue working on these issues.”

Read the Taskforce  report

Summary of recommendations (PDF)

Read Marion Nestle’s comments: Food Politics, 13 May 2010

Read more: Washington Post, 12 May 2010

Published on May 12, 2010 in International news