Dr. Mehmet Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon who is chief medical correspondent for Discovery Health, who noted how limited collaboration has been among the many stakeholders in the anti-obesity fight. He urged such collaboration upon the attendees, both during and after the Summit.
Dr. Elena Rios, President and CEO of the National Hispanic Medical Association, who reminded Summit participants of the high prevalence of obesity in America’s culturally diverse communities. Already, she noted, one in four Hispanic children are obese.
Dr. Francine Kaufman, director of the Comprehensive Childhood Diabetes Center, and head of the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, who applauded delegates for their work and noted the particularly critical opportunity to launch collaborative programs to address obesity in America’s children. Dr. Kaufman also emphasized that the time for federal policy action to address the obesity epidemic in America is ripe.
Each participant received briefing materials prior to the Summit on some of the many federal policy options available to tackle the multi-dimensional challenge of fighting America’s obesity epidemic. Delegates spent all afternoon reviewing policy options and discussing the relative benefits and costs of each. This occurred first as delegates were divided into eight working sub- groups to identify 16 initial policy options. Running through their deliberations was the advice they had received from many quarters – to make sure the policies they adopted reflected the importance of evaluations, the need for proof, now and in the future, of effectiveness in reducing obesity.
Following the smaller sessions, delegates met in three core working sessions – Promoting Active Lifestyles, Promoting Better Nutrition, and Change in the Health Care Sector – that examined and reworked some of the policy options. Finally, they voted electronically on which they found to be the most compelling and the most politically achievable.
Collaborative Campaign is Launched
Based on the positive feedback generated from the Summit, the Steering Committee members and other participants have decided to launch a Collaborative Campaign to End Obesity (CCEO). The CCEO will pick up where the National Summit on Obesity Policy left of , forging and sustaining a point of collaboration between and among U.S. leaders and advocates and advancing the coalition’s agenda at the federal level in the battle to end obesity.
The full list of the common policy recommendations adopted by the Summit delegates are attached as Appendix A, and a list of participating organizations and the National Summit agenda are attached as Appendix B and Appendix C.