The Surgeon General's Call To Action To Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity
Creating National Action
Interventions and actions in the fundamental areas of the CARE approach should catalyze a process of national, State, and local action to address overweight and obesity. While strategies and action steps will vary, all who take action should acknowledge and embrace the following principles:
- Actions by diversified and cooperative groups are desirable. Working groups may form around settings or around crosscutting themes, as appropriate, to best leverage their talents and resources against overweight and obesity. Partnerships among all levels of government; public and private national, State, Tribal, and local organizations; and faith-based and other community groups will increase the likelihood that true gaps in action will be addressed. Partnerships also may foster learning, sharing of resources, division of labor, and consistency in the message to the public. Additionally, they may enhance media prominence and the social credibility of actions to address overweight and obesity.
- Actions require vigorous, dedicated commitment. The social, environmental, and behavioral factors responsible for the epidemic of overweight and obesity are firmly entrenched in our society. Identifying and dislodging these factors will require deliberate, persistent action and a degree of patience.
- Actions should strive to help all Americans maintain a healthy or healthier weight through balancing caloric intake and energy expenditure. Actions should focus at multiple levels, targeting the environment, behavior change, and policy.
- Actions should be carefully planned. The choice of actions should be based on the relative feasibility, effectiveness, and suitability of all potential actions, and all partners should have a clearly defined role in the action.
- Actions should be sensitive to the needs of minority populations and to the social stigmatization that can surround overweight and obesity.
- Actions and their outcomes should be evaluated. While implementing a system to monitor outcomes should not stand as a barrier to action, groups that are able should monitor and document the short-term and long-term effects of the actions they take. This type of tracking provides important information for the next round of actions and increases the likelihood of success. Developing a concrete evaluation plan early may help focus the goals for action.
Last revised: January 11, 2007