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Am J Med. 2009 Apr;122(4 Suppl 1):S19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2009.01.004.

Obesity prevention: recommended strategies and challenges.

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Department of Public Health Sciences, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Virginia 22901, USA.


Lifelong healthy weight maintenance is an important goal for all Americans to avoid the health problems associated with excessive body weight. In those who are overweight, even modest weight loss can reduce the risk of developing diseases associated with obesity. Federal health agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Agriculture, have recognized the critical nature of the obesity epidemic and the importance of lifelong weight management. As a result, these agencies have published evidence-based dietary and exercise recommendations, as well as analyses of population-based efforts to achieve weight loss that specifically address strategies to maintain a healthy weight. Despite the availability of recommendations and increased public education efforts, however, obesity rates continue to climb. The rising prevalence of obesity in the United States suggests that current efforts to control weight have been inadequate. Large-scale prevention programs that involve interventions targeting individuals as well as the larger community, including initiatives spearheaded through workplaces and schools, are needed to control weight and reduce the risk of long-term health consequences.

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