Obesity Research and Commentary: Today's Roundup

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A look at the latest on the financial burdens of obesity, junk-food marketing to children, soda bans, and more

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My mailbox is overflowing with new reports and commentary about obesity. Here are some examples:

State medical expenses: The journal Obesity has an analysis of the cost of obesity to states. Obesity costs states an additional 7 to 11 percent in medical expenses. Between 22 percent (Virginia) and 55 percent (Rhode Island) of state costs of obesity are paid by taxpayers through Medicare and Medicaid.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation series on preventing childhood obesity:

From the Campaign to End Obesity:

Obesity Rates Projected to Soar, ABC News, 8.25.11: Will half the U.S. population be obese by 2030? The current trajectory would see 65 million more obese adults, raising the national total to 164 million. Roughly one-third of the U.S. population is currently obese.

In U.S., Obesity Rates Remain Higher Than 20% in All States, Gallup, 8.25.11: Colorado continues to be the state with the lowest obesity rate in the country, at 20.1% in the first half of 2011. West Virginia has the highest obesity rate in January through June 2011, at 34.3%, which is also the highest Gallup has measured for any state since it began tracking obesity rates in 2008.

Reversing the obesity epidemic will take time, LA Times, 8.26.11: The old rule that cutting out or burning 500 calories a day will result in a steady, 1-pound-per-week weight loss doesn't reflect real people, researchers say. For the typical overweight adult, every 10-calorie-per-day reduction will result in the loss of about 1 pound over three years.

I've commented on some of these in previous posts. If you find the avalanche of studies overwhelming, you are in good company. I do too, but will summarize my take on the literature in my forthcoming book with Malden Nesheim, Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics, due out from University of California Press in March 2012. Stay tuned.



This post also appears on Food Politics.
Image: Tobyotter/flickr

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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