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National Summit on Obesity Begins

Health care professionals gathered today in Chicago for the American Medical Association’s first National Summit on Obesity. The two-day event will address medicine’s response to the obesity epidemic by focusing on medical practice, school, workplace and community.

Physicians, nurses, dieticians, exercise physiologists, corporate and public health officials, researchers and educators will come together to develop a set of recommendations for the prevention, assessment and management of obesity. Potential partnerships will also be identified.

Today, worksite interventions and community/environmental interventions will be the focal point. The discussion will focus on strategies for improving healthy eating and physical activity at work, conferences and meetings, and consumer education, public-private partnerships and environmental planning.

Tomorrow, school health interventions and medical practice interventions take center stage. Physical education, healthy food choices, vending machines, health education and other strategies schools can adopt to promote health will be discussed. In the clinical setting, focus will be on promoting body mass index as the fifth vital sign, identifying benchmarks for outcomes, performance measurement sets, physicians as role models, parameters for bariatric surgery and physical education and training.

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