America's obesity epidemic is so deeply rooted that it will take dramatic and systemic measures - from overhauling farm policies and zoning laws to, possibly, introducing a soda tax - to fix it, the influential Institute of Medicine said today.
In an ambitious 478-page report, the IOM refutes the idea that obesity is largely the result of a lack of willpower on the part of individuals. Instead, it embraces policy proposals that have met with stiff resistance from the food industry and lawmakers, arguing that multiple strategies will be needed to make the U.S. environment less "obesogenic."
Take a look at local programs in your area for weight loss. If you are in a farming area, what do local farmers (or ranchers) think of looking at the ways in which our food is produced?
Do a local poll asking people if they think this more inclusive approach will work in the fight against obesity.
Is there any local support of taxes on items such as soda? Are families concerned about the kinds of food they are eating? Talk to some people and find out how they keep the food they eat healthy.
How has food changed over the years? Local grocers may be a good source for finding out how selections in stores have changed over the years. Are there less healthy choices now than ever before?