July 14, 2003
Some states are getting money from the Centers for Disease Control
(CDC) to help fight obesity. Their plan:
"In October 2000, the Division of
Nutrition and Physical Activity initiated a program to support state
health departments and their partners in developing and implementing
targeted nutrition and physical activity interventions in an effort
to prevent chronic diseases, especially obesity. States were encouraged
to use a social marketing approach in designing their population-based
strategies, particularly policy-level and environmental interventions."
Do you know if your state is one to have
received money over the years? How would you know? What does all that
mean for the people living in the states that have been chosen to
participate in the "CDC's State-based Nutrition and Physical
Activity Program to Prevent Chronic Diseases, Including Obesity"?
Currently, more government money is being
designated to help prevent some of the health problems that can result
from obesity. If nothing else, a lot of time and money has gone into
the discussion of the problem.
"HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson
today called on Americans to take the steps that will lead to a healthier
nation at a first of its kind national health summit he convened in
Baltimore. The two-day summit, "Steps to a HealthierUS: Putting
Prevention First," is being attended by a thousand community
leaders, policy makers, health officials and others. Focusing attention
on the importance of prevention and promising approaches for promoting
healthy environments, the Secretary laid out his priorities and programs
for Steps to a HealthierUS, a department-wide effort in support of
the President's HealthierUS initiative. In the United States today,
7 of 10 deaths and the vast majority of serious illness, disability
and health care costs are caused by chronic diseases. Underlying these
serious diseases are several important risk factors -- poor nutrition,
lack of physical activity, and tobacco use and exposure -- that can
be modified years before they contribute to illness and death."
With as much time and attention as the
government agencies are spending discussing these health issues, it
is apparent that they are seen as a concern. What are the main concerns?
And how much money are they taking from the budget to fund such programs?
"'I am convinced that preventing
disease by promoting better health is a smart policy choice for our
future,' Secretary Thompson said. 'Our current health care system
is not structured to deal with the escalating costs of treating diseases
that are largely preventable through changes in our lifestyle choices.'...At
today's summit, Secretary Thompson announced a $15 million "Healthy
Communities" initiative as part of the Steps initiative. The
funds will support programs that improve the lives of Americans through
innovative and effective community-based chronic disease prevention
and control programs addressing diabetes, obesity and asthma....President
Bush's fiscal year 2004 budget substantially increases the investment
in the Steps initiative to a total of $125 million, a $110 million
increase from the fiscal year 2003 appropriation for the HHS-wide
endeavor to promote healthier lifestyles."
I am not suggesting that the government
spend more. I am not suggesting that they should spend less. I do
want to point out how much the American people are spending, even
without including the tax dollars that are now being sent to help
address health related concerns...
"According to a recent study just
completed by Tampa-based Marketdata Enterprises, the only market researcher
to track the weight loss products/services market on an ongoing basis
since 1989, body-conscious Americans will spend nearly $40 billion
this year to lose weight. They also predict that the weight loss industry
in the U.S. will grow 5.6 percent annually to $48.8 billion in 2006....Diet
soft drinks dominate in terms of sales, with an expected $14.86 billion
this year (up from $14.4 billion in 2001). Health clubs rank second,
with $13.52 [b]illion in 2002 sales, up $1 billion from last year.
Diet books, cassettes and exercise videos trail commercial weight
loss centers, with the most rapid growth being in do-it-yourself,
over-the-counter diet aids....In 2002, the commercial weight loss
centers category represented 1.2 billion of the $39 billion industry
pie. Source: October 2002 report from Marketdata Enterprises."
What amount of money will it take? Where
will that money come from? More importantly...
Questions of the Week:
What would you do with the funds if you had control over what programs
got government money to deal with primarily preventable health related
issues? What is the most you could do to help improve the overall
health of the nation with the least amount of money? What changes
need to be made that "money can't buy"?
Please email me with any ideas or suggestions.
Note: Due to increasing amounts of SPAM sent to this account, please include "QOW" in the subject line when sending me email.
I look forward to reading
what you have to say.
Health Community Coordinator
Access Excellence @ the National Health Museum