California's Fight Against Obesity

Together, Confronting Obesity: California's Fight Against Obesity

10.22.13 | By John Castellani

Today, I’ll be speaking to state-wide leaders in California regarding the state’s fight against obesity. The event, sponsored by the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD), brings together hundreds of concerned practitioners, patient groups, educators,  state government, academia and healthcare industries representatives to seek solutions to obesity-related health issues in California.

Our nation faces great challenges in fighting obesity on both patient health and economic fronts.  Since 1960, for example, the number of obese Americans has tripled. Today, more than 78 million are considered obese.  The cost to people’s health is tremendous and so, too, are the costs to our economy and healthcare system.  Today in the U.S. we’re spending in excess of $190 billion a year treating obesity, its complications and resulting chronic diseases – that’s 20 percent of what we now spend on healthcare in the U.S.

Biopharmaceutical research companies make several critical contributions in this fight.  First and foremost, our sector’s researchers are working to innovative medicines to help treat and even prevent obesity as well as obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. Second, our work alongside organizations like the PFCD, as well as state, local and national stakeholders helps raise awareness of the personal and economic costs of obesity and the potential for better solutions. 

We have an enormous amount of work to do, which starts with improving our understanding of the causes of obesity and its costs. If the enthusiasm and commitment exhibited by stakeholders of the PFCD event are any indication, I believe we can collectively make a real difference in this critical public health challenge.  

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