Vidyya Medical News Service
Volume 6 Issue 74 Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 14-Mar-2004 Next Update - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 15-Mar-2004
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FDA proposes action plan to confront nation's obesity problem

Since the late 1980s, adult obesity has steadily increased in this country. About 64 percent of Americans are overweight and more than 30 percent are obese. To help tackle what FDA is calling the "nation's obesity epidemic," the agency released, on March 12, 2004, the final report of its Obesity Working Group. The group's long- and short-term proposals are based on the scientific fact that weight control is mainly a function of caloric balance. That is, calories in must equal calories out. So FDA is focusing on "calories count" as the basis of its actions and the message of its obesity campaign.

Recommended actions include:

  • enhancing the food label to display calorie count more prominently and to use meaningful serving sizes
  • initiating a consumer education campaign focusing on the "Calories Count" message
  • encouraging restaurants to provide nutritional information to consumers
  • stepping up enforcement actions concerning accuracy of food labels
  • revising FDA guidance for developing drugs to treat obesity
  • working cooperatively with other government agencies, non-profits, industry, and academia on obesity research

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