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Overhaul needed in US to curb obesity: experts

Separate research presented Monday at a related conference on obesity in the U.S. capital warned that 42 percent of U.S. adults could be obese by 2030, and the number of severely obese people could more than double from five to 11 percent.

Michael Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer advocacy group, urged governments, the food and healthcare industries and schools to implement the IOM's recommendations, calling it an “excellent blueprint for solving America's costly obesity problem.”

“But policy makers will have to invest both money and political capital to convert the advice into reality,” he added.

Despite the report's repeated urging of more institutional measures to make sure healthy foods are readily available, Kumanyika said the report's authors were not seeking new laws or mandates.

“We can't rely on mandatory solutions where they are not likely to be put into place. There a lot of things that government can do voluntarily,” she said.

“Many of the things we recommend are in the control of people,” she added. “They just require energy, focus and leadership to get things done.”

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In this May 2, file photo, Washougal Mayor Sean Guard, left, coaxes Camas Mayor Scott Higgins to step on the scales during their weigh-in in Washougal, Washington. The mayors of the two neighboring towns are in a “Biggest Loser” style contest to see which of the two communities can lose the most weight.

(AP)

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