The epidemic of obesity in the United States is finally gaining the national attention it deserves, but reducing overweight and obesity is an unusually complex challenge for practitioners and advocates.
There are a multitude of dimensions that contribute to today’s obesity rates–ranging from disparities in access to healthy food and physical activity opportunities, to targeted marketing practices. Fast food restaurants alone spend $520 million in marketing to children–incentivizing the sale of 1.2 billion meals with toys to children. These powerful social and economic drivers can discourage some people and organizations from making changes to the status quo.
To counter these dominant forces, informed parents, clinicians, community members, policy-makers, and others need a strategic plan to advocate for health promoting policies and environments.