The Network of State and Governor’s Councils, today condemned the recent release of fat-laden products by prominent food makers, Sara Lee Corp. and Kraft Foods, at the recent Food Marketing Institute’s annual supermarket trade show in Chicago.

Obesity is a major health problem in the United States and a number of obese individuals suffer from serious, life-threatening conditions brought on by their excess weight. Of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States, scientific research has established obesity as a risk factor for half, including coronary heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes and some types of cancer. Approximately 300,000 deaths are attributed to physical inactivity and poor diets every year, making these combined behaviors the second-leading preventable cause of death in the United States, after smoking.

“Our environment is reinforcing the eating of more food, more often and being less active, more often,” states Chris Kimber, NAHF board president and registered dietitian. “As a national association, the NAHF must do everything we can to initiate community programs that support and encourage all individuals to be active, as well as educate the public about the long-term dangers of overeating.”

One potential solution provided in the war against obesity and physical inactivity by the NAHF is the annual national health observance known as National Employee Health and Fitness Day (NEHF), celebrated on the third Wednesday each May. The primary purpose of this program is to encourage employers to initiate worksite wellness programs that motivate employees to lead more physically active lifestyles.

“This is a win-win situation for both the employee and the employer,” states Cindy Porteous, NAHF executive director. “Employees who are physically inactive have higher costs of healthcare for their employer than their physically active counterparts.”

Additionally, the NAHF invites individuals to participate in another national programming initiative, the “Let’s Get Physical” Challenge (LGP). The LGP Challenge is a free, 8-week, educational and interactive program that encourages participants to engage in 30-minutes of moderate physical activity, at least three times per week. This program is based specifically on recommendations included in the 1996 Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health. Since its inception in 1997, over 1,500 companies nationwide have implemented the LGP Challenge for more than 15,000 individual participants.

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More information on NEHF or LGP can be obtained by visiting , or by calling 317-237-5630. Individuals, organizations and corporations are also encouraged to support NAHF, a not-for- profit association, through membership, sponsorship and contributions.