WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 During the past year as the nation debated health care reform, the need to address the health impacts of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases became all too clear.
These medical conditions are damaging the nation's health status and leading to premature death. Yet, they are preventable. We know that major contributors to the obesity epidemic, particularly among children, are food and physical environments that make it difficult for people to make healthy choices, but easy to consume extra calories and be sedentary.
We are grateful that the First Lady is taking the leading role in advocating for a comprehensive, clinical and community-based prevention approach to developing solutions to this nationwide problem. We also are proud to be a founding partner in the Partnership for a Healthier America. This new endeavor will not only catalyze new efforts to address this critical issue, but will provide an excellent opportunity to build upon the best practices in communities across the United States.
In recent years, we have made progress learning what really helps to prevent childhood obesity, but we all need to do much more. As more people and organizations get involved in this fight, I am confident we will reverse this epidemic. The foundation the First Lady announced today will be a powerful lever to bring more people and organizations to the table to solve this problem. By focusing on the areas where we need to make changes - from our medical offices to our communities - and then getting organizations to make significant commitments to change clinical practices and improve our environments, we have the possibility to make rapid progress.
As a health care provider, we at Kaiser Permanente understand the importance of clinical prevention efforts. We also understand the challenges our patients and their families face when they leave the exam room. We have long supported a comprehensive approach that includes evidence-based clinical prevention strategies, as well as efforts to create the conditions outside our doctors' offices that make it easier for patients to eat better and increase their physical activity.
About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America's leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, our mission is to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve 8.6 million members in nine states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: www.kp.org/newscenter.
SOURCE Kaiser Permanente