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Global Perspectives On Obesity Prevention

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

About 1000 participants, mostly from North America, debated solutions to the obesity epidemic in the United States (US) at the Weight of the Nation conference, organized in Washington, USA, by the US Centers for Disease Control.

The very high visibility given to physical activity, including transport-related, urban planning and environmental approaches in general, is to be noted.

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WHO/Europe was invited to illustrate European experiences in a session addressing 'Global perspectives on obesity prevention'. The presentation focused on intersectoral approaches to promoting physical activity, as well as on the quantification of the health effects of walking and cycling as a means of transport.

The session, held in parallel with 6 others, was attended by about 100 participants and the presentation was warmly welcomed.

The conference had a high level of political support, demonstrated by key note addresses by, among others, former president Bill Clinton and the US Secretary for Health and Human Services.

The latter underlined the very strong support of the new US administration for health promotion in general and for obesity prevention, healthy nutrition and physical activity, supported by a letter by First Lady Michelle Obama to the conference.