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July 24/31, 2018

Potential Policy Approaches to Address Diet-Related Diseases

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Science in the Public Interest, Washington, DC
  • 2Healthy Food America, Seattle, Washington
  • 3Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
JAMA. 2018;320(4):341-342. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7434

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently published 2 reports that should inspire vigorous action to improve the diets of individuals in the United States. One report found that in 2015-2016 the prevalence of obesity (BMI ≥30) in adults (39.6%) increased to new highs, and obesity levels remained disturbingly high among youth (18.5%).1 By comparison, in 1976-1980, only 15.0% of adults and 5.5% of youth were obese. Each uptick in the prevalence of obesity increases the risks of hypertension, stroke, myocardial infarction, certain cancers, and, especially, type 2 diabetes. High BMI is responsible for an estimated 386 000 excess deaths per year.2

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