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Survey Says: American Public Believes Obesity is a Serious Problem, Looks to Schools to Lead Prevention

Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena

FRC_logoKaiser Permanente today released the results from a field poll it commissioned to study how Americans view the obesity epidemic and to whom they are looking to address the issue.

The findings showed that an overwhelming majority – 91 percent – of the American public view obesity as a serious issue, particularly among children and teens.  Survey results also indicated that Americans believe their local K-12 schools should play a key role in fighting obesity, with 90 percent endorsing a school role on this issue.

The survey results were unveiled at the 2013 Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference in Long Beach, Calif. where public health and health care professionals, researchers, community and business leaders, and policymakers were gathered. Loel Solomon, PhD, vice president for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente led a mini-plenary session devoted to examining public perceptions around obesity and the power of The Weight of the Nation campaign to activate change in the community.

Mark DiCamillo from Field Research Corporation, who conducted the field poll on behalf of Kaiser Permanente, presented the field poll results to a standing-room only crowd. He was joined by Carmen Nevarez, PhD of the Public Health Institute and Ruth Crocker, a community health care liason for several southern California communities, both of whom shared their perspectives and experiences on how to mobilize communities and young people to address the obesity epidemic.

The announcement regarding the field poll results came on the heels of the news that the American Medical Association had declared obesity a disease, a move that was expected to draw more medical resources, interventions, and attention to the epidemic.

To see a full description of the obesity field poll results, visit the Kaiser Permanente Newscenter.

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