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The Future of Food and Obesity

NBC Detroit, FOX Salt Lake CIty, ABC Lincoln, NE

NBC Detroit, FOX Salt Lake City, and ABC Lincoln discussed a report commissioned by the American Heart Association, Research!America, and Deloitte that examines the future of food and obesity in the U.S. While most Americans realize a poor diet is contributing to poor health, they are struggling to make changes.

“The statistics on obesity are getting people’s attention, we had an obesity rate of 14% in 1980 and it’s more than 40% now, and the trends are quite concerning going forward,” said Dr. Kevin Volpp, Director of CHIBE.

The Chief Executive Officer of the American Heart Association Nancy Brown said, “61% of U.S. adults will have some form of cardiovascular disease by 2050, up from about half of adults currently. In addition, obesity rates will increase from 43.5% to 60.6% among adults and from 20.6% to 33% during that same time.”

A new survey finds that Americans are concerned showing 53% of people believe the U.S. is not making enough progress in making healthy food accessible. Experts say one of the best ways to combat that is by giving people access to healthy food. “One of the big challenges is accessibility and cost and really thinking critically about how we can leverage health care resources where it’s cost-effective to do so to provide access to healthy food. That can help a lot of people and help address health inequities,” said Dr. Volpp.

“We believe that there is an opportunity here to design programs that are more engaging and more effective in helping people eat healthy food at higher rates,” said Dr. Volpp.

The American Heart Association announced a new patient registry to better understand the causes and treatments for obesity and how health care professionals manage it. They hope this information will help better shape guidelines related to nutrition and obesity and will continue to emphasize its healthy eating initiatives.

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