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Seattle Sutton Urges More Focus on Prevention to Tackle Obesity in Healthcare Reform

Posted on 07/3/2009

Healthy Eating Expert Cites New Obesity Statistics; Says Now is the Time for Preventative Measures to Fight Obesity

Seattle Sutton, healthy eating expert, urges Congress and President Obama to focus more on prevention in the pending healthcare reform to battle skyrocketing obesity rates which put strain on our ailing healthcare system and will continue to further stretch the broken system unless the problem is addressed now.

The newly issued report F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America 2009 has spurred Sutton’s continued interest in preventive measures to combat obesity and obesity-related diseases. The report was released this week by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the findings support Sutton’s previous claims about obesity and call for preventive measures to combat deadly and debilitating diseases caused by obesity.

Sutton has previously asserted the need has come to have government intervention help the American public end the obesity epidemic that’s plaguing this country and taxing our ailing healthcare system. And that government needs to incorporate healthy eating and portion control into their treatment programs and to take a regulatory position on this matter. Since various estimates place the cost of treating obesity-related diseases during the next twenty years as ranging from $4.7 trillion to $6.5 trillion, these estimates are increasing as the scope of the obesity epidemic becomes more evident.

"I believe time is of the essence for preventative measures to fight the ever-growing obesity problem plaguing our country and draining our weak healthcare system," said Seattle Sutton, RN, BSN, Founder and President of Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating.

Sutton, a healthy eating advocate for more than two decades, outspoken proponent for change in the healthcare system and registered nurse for more than 50 years, believes taxpayers would greatly benefit from this new focus, especially given the new obesity statistics concerning aging adults who are taxing our ailing healthcare system. And, children who continue their escalating obesity climb, will ultimately strain the current healthcare system due to obesity-related diseases if this is not addressed.

She continues, "The cost benefits of its successes would measure billions and billions of dollars. In fact, emphasizing practical solutions to reduce and eliminate obesity might just save enough money to help us solve our overall healthcare problem. This will not be easy, nothing worthwhile in life ever is. But we owe it to the children of today and the children of tomorrow to put an end to obesity."

According to the TFAH and RWJF joint report, two-thirds of American adults are either obese or overweight. The percentage of obese and overweight children is at or above 30 percent in 30 states. Adult obesity rates increased in 23 sates and did not decrease in a single state in the past year. Adult obesity rates now exceed 25 percent in 31 states and exceed 20 percent in 49 states and Washington, D.C.

F as in Fat 2009 also states that the Baby Boomer generation has a higher rate of obesity compared to previous generations and as they age, obesity-related costs to Medicare and Medicaid are likely to grow significantly.

Sutton strongly believes based on those figures that Baby Boomers will greatly attribute to our healthcare system’s inevitable breaking point if obesity prevention is not addressed as part of healthcare reform.

The report also calls for a National Strategy to Combat Obesity that would define responsibilities for local, state and federal government and promote collaboration among businesses, communities, schools and families. It would seek to advance policies that:

  • Promote healthy foods and beverages to students at schools
  • Increase the availability of affordable healthy foods in all communities
  • Increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of physical activity at school
  • Improve access to safe and healthy places to live, work, learn and play
  • Limit screen time
  • Encourage employers to provide workplace wellness programs

Suggestion in the report for the obesity committee is in line with Sutton’s previous public proposal to President Obama for the need to tackle obesity via a non-partisan committee called End the National Obesity Epidemic (ENOE). Sutton believes their suggestion for a national group is right on target and she would like to offer herself up to participate on the committee. And, in turn, she would like their support for the ENOE that she recently proposed to the President.

For more information about Sutton’s thoughts on healthcare reform and the ENOE, visit her blog where she’s discussing the need, calling for action and willing to help end obesity. She’s also reached out to key Congress members regarding her idea and showing her support for preventative measures to be included in healthcare reform. Go to seattlesutton.com and click on "Seattle’s blog."

The full report F as in Fat 2009 is available on TFAH’s Web site at www.healthyamericans.org and RWJF’s Web site at www.rwjf.org. The report was supported by a grant from RWJF.

About Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating

Seattle Sutton’s Healthy Eating (SSHE), a family-owned, Illinois-based healthy meal replacement company offers a no-gimmick approach to convenient, healthy eating nationwide. The meal program is scientifically designed and taste-tested.

Founded by Seattle Sutton, RN, BSN, in 1985, SSHE helps to address patients’ desire to lose weight and improve overall health. Seattle Sutton’s dedication to health continues today, since all SSHE menus are analyzed on an ongoing basis and adhere to recommended dietary guidelines.

SSHE prepares thousands of fresh meals weekly and its innovative approach has helped thousands of people achieve and maintain weight loss without planning, shopping or cooking for themselves. For more information, www.seattlesutton.com or 1-800-442-DIET (3438). For business-related inquiries, 1-888-442-DIET (3438).