In May 2004, representatives from local, state, and national public and private organizations met in Rochester, Minn, for the Action on Obesity Summit hosted by Mayo Clinic. The overall goal of this summit was to identify creative and effective strategies to increase the US population's physical activity and improve nutrition to reverse the increasing prevalence of obesity. Ideas generated from selected abstract presentations and breakout sessions were prioritized and incorporated into an action model (available at www.actiononobesity.org) deemed feasible for implementation into most communities. Highlights of the presentations included a company that reported lower than expected health care expenditures secondary to a work site wellness program, a national initiative to increase physical activity (www.americaonthemove.org), and innovative work site nutritional strategies. The implementation model that emerged contained certain themes. Coordinated action at all levels will be required to substantially impact the increasing prevalence of obesity. Educational messages should be simple, consistent, tailored, and united to benefits. Healthy food options in vending machines and restaurants and increased opportunities for daily physical activity should be available in schools, work sites, and communities. Legislative and policy changes should promote physical activity and improve nutrition. Support for research should be encouraged and outcome measures for interventions documented. A second Action on Obesity Summit is planned for June 9 and 10, 2005, that will review the progress made In the Intervening year and continue to refine the implementation model to help address the obesity epidemic, one of the greatest public health problems facing the United States.
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