IOM Highlights Federal Policy Changes That Could Help Slow Obesity Crisis

Small decreases in the nation’s obesity rate could help save billions in health care costs, according to a new study. Now, the Institute of Medicine has outlined policy changes for federal agencies to implement that could help stem the growing obesity crisis. The changes aim to alter the “obesogenic” environment in the U.S., according to an IOM panel. Rather than push ideas that the food industry has opposed, the panelists offer multiple suggestions to work at the same time like implementing a soda tax and changing zoning laws to encourage walking and biking. “The average person cannot maintain a healthy weight in this obesity-promoting environment,” said panelist Shiriki Kumanyika of the University of Pennsylvania.