In an unusual joint appearance, Acting U.S. Surgeon General Steven Galson and predecessors C. Everett Koop, Antonia Novello, Audrey Manley, Richard Carmona, David Satcher and Kenneth Moritisugu addressed the childhood obesity epidemic before a health care justice summit in Washington. They focused on the epidemic's implications for chronic disease, health care costs and the future of a generation of children with the highest obesity rates in U.S. history. As a group, they called for concerted action by government, communities, business and industry, education and families.
The seven men and women represented a quarter century of service as the country's top health officer. Their message was striking for its urgency and unanimity.
"Standing shoulder to shoulder," Moritisugu stressed, "all of the former surgeons general are saying, 'This is a problem. America, listen.'"