NAASO Testifies Before Congress

 

On Thursday, May 2, 2002, NAASO representatives took the message to Congress that obesity is a dangerous medical problem that needs to be treated more seriously.

The day started with NAASO President, Michael Jensen, MD, testifying before the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee, where he called upon Congress to direct the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to provide a major research focus on obesity. Noting that currently only 1% of the NIH budget is spent on obesity research, Jensen urged the committee to double this amount. "Two percent for the number two health problem in America is not too much to ask," he said.

In a series of private meetings, NAASO officials then visited the offices of Representatives DeLauro (D-CT), Lowey (D-NY), Miller (R-FL), Peterson (R-PA), and Sherwood (R-PA), as well as subcommittee Chairman Regula (R-OH). Our message was simple:

  1. Obesity must receive the appropriate research funds;
  2. It must be treated, with reimbursement for treatment; and
  3. Prevention programs must be supported in order to reduce the prevalence of obesity.

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