Thursday, January 28, 2010

A New Game Plan for Reducing Obesity in America

First Lady Michelle Obama, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin announced plans today to help Americans lead healthier lives.

Currently, two-thirds of adults and nearly one in three children are overweight or obese. They have an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and sleep apnea, among other diseases.

Sleep apnea prevents people from breathing normally at night. One reason obese people experience it more often is because they have excess skin on their neck that pushes down on their airway during sleep. Sleep apnea can make it more difficult to lose weight and should be treated. Learn more about sleep apnea here.

The new plan is outlined in the Surgeon General’s Vision for a Healthy and Fit Nation.

An overview is provided below:

Improving our communities – Neighborhoods and communities should become actively involved in creating healthier environments. The availability of supermarkets, outdoor recreational facilities and the limitation of advertisements of less healthy foods and beverages are all examples of ways to create a healthier living environment.

Healthy Choices and Healthy Home Environments – Change starts with the individual choices Americans make each day for themselves, their families and those around them. Reducing the consumption of sodas and juices with added sugars; eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains; limiting television time; and being more physically active help us achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Creating Healthy Child Care Settings – It is estimated that more than 12 million children ages 0-6 receive some form of child care on a regular basis from someone other than their parents. Parents should talk with their child care providers about changes to promote their children’s health.

Creating Healthy Schools – To help students develop life-long health habits, schools should provide appealing healthy food options including fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, water and low-fat beverages. School systems should also require nutrition standards and daily physical education for students.

Creating Healthy Work Sites – Employers can implement wellness programs that promote healthy eating in cafeterias, encourage physical activity through group classes and create incentives for employees to participate.

Mobilizing Medical Communities – Medical care providers must make it a priority to teach their patients about the importance of good health. Doctors and other health care providers are often the most trusted source of health information and are powerful role models for healthy lifestyle habits.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Disclaimer

The Official Blog of the American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) is intended as an information source only. Content of this blog should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment, and it is not a substitute for medical care, which should be provided by the appropriate health care professional. If you suspect you have a sleep-related breathing disorder, such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), you should consult your personal physician or visit an AASM-accredited sleep disorders center. The AADSM, and the American Academy of Sleep Medicine, as the managing agent of the AADSM, assume no liability for the information contained on the Official Blog of the AADSM or for its use.