Expert Voices

An Insider's View of National Strategies to Control the Obesity Epidemic

By: William H. Dietz, MD, PhD, Former Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Responses to New York City’s ban on large sugary drinks illustrate how easily policies aimed at reversing our obesity epidemic can become mired in controversy. But the need for solutions is urgent: 36 percent of American adults are now obese, and obesity-related medical costs are estimated at $150 billion per year. In this essay, Dr. William Dietz outlines the range of obesity-reduction efforts developed during his 15 years at the CDC, stressing the importance of policy and environmental strategies designed to make the healthy choice the easier choice.


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