WASHINGTON, DC – The Grocery Manufacturers of America said today that the “Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity” properly recognizes the complexity of America’s weight problem and called on the Administration and Congress to take concrete steps to address the issue.

“This new report shows that Secretary Thompson and the Surgeon General have examined the obesity issue and recognized that this is a complex issue and there are no simple solutions,” said GMA Director of Scientific and Nutrition Policy, Lisa Katic.

“GMA looks forward to working with Secretary Thompson as he moves forward with his bold plan to emphasize obesity prevention by emphasizing proper nutrition education and daily physical activity,” said Katic, a registered dietitian.  “It is also clear that while individual activities are influenced by a wide range of factors, solutions that fixate on removing choice through narrow restrictions on products will not change lifestyles.”

“GMA also believes that there are concrete steps that the Administration and Congress can take right away to help millions of Americans address their weight problems,” noted Katic. “These include reinvigorating the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, providing federal funding for research into ways to better motivate people to engage in regular physical activity, and the creation of funding incentives for cities and states to provide more opportunities for nutrition education and physical activity in grades K-12.”

“The food industry is a committed partner in the effort to combat obesity.  Our industry spends tens of millions of dollars a year to promote programs such as nutrition education and physical activity at the state and local levels.  Food and beverage companies also place a high priority on researching and developing new ways to make people’s favorite foods even healthier, without sacrificing taste,” said Katic.

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