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health obesity national journal

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia, tracks nationwide health trends, including overweight and obesity, and reports its findings in several periodicals, especially its Health, United States and Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports. The National Vital Statistics Report and Vital and Health Statistics, issued by the CDC National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), give detailed information on U.S. births, birth weights, and death data and trends. The NCHS also compiles and analyzes demographic data—the heights and weights of a representative sample of the U.S. population—to develop standards for desirable weights. The Nationwide Food Consumption Survey and the Continuing Survey of Food Intake by Individuals, conducted in the United States in 1977, 1989, 1994, and 1996, detailed the consumption habits of more than 63,000 people. The National Health Interview Surveys, National Health Examination Surveys, National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, and Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System offer ongoing information about the lifestyles, health behaviors, and health risks of Americans. Working with other agencies and professional organizations, the CDC produced Healthy People 2010, the source document that serves as a blueprint for improving the health status of Americans.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides nutrition guidelines for Americans, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched initiatives to educate consumers and the media about false and deceptive weight-loss advertising. The FTC is one of about fifty members of The Partnership for Healthy Weight Management, a coalition of scientific, academic, health-care, government, commercial, and public-interest representatives, that aims to increase public awareness of the obesity epidemic and to promote responsible marketing of weight-loss products and programs.

The relationship between birth weight and future health risks has been examined by many researchers, and the studies cited in this text were reported in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the British Medical Journal. Data from the CDC Pregnancy Nutrition Surveillance System showed that very overweight women benefit from reduced weight gain during pregnancy to help reduce the risk for high-birth-weight infants.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide definitions, epidemiological data, and research findings about a comprehensive range of public health issues, including diet, nutrition, overweight, and obesity. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute conducts research about obesity and overweight. Weight-control information is published by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK; the part of the National Institutes of Health primarily responsible for obesity- and nutrition-related research) along with updated weight-for-height tables that incorporate height, weight, and body mass index (BMI). The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) offers information about eating disorders as well as the mental health issues related to obesity.

The origins, causes, and consequences of the obesity epidemic have been described in numerous professional and consumer publications, including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, American Journal of Gastroenterology, American Journal of Health Promotion, American Journal of Psychiatry, Annals of Internal Medicine, Annual Review of Nutrition, Archives of Family Medicine, Archives of General Psychiatry, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Chemistry & Industry, Circulation, Current Opinion in Lipidology, Diabetes, Gut: An International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Health Affairs, Health Psychology, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Journal of Clinical Oncology, Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Journal of the American Dietetic Association, Journal of the American Medical Association, New England Journal of Medicine, Nutrition Action Newsletter, Obesity Research, Obesity Reviews, Pediatrics, and Science.

Several excellent books and publications provided valuable insight into the obesity epidemic. In Fat History: Bodies and Beauty in the Modern West (New York: New York University Press, 2002) and Losing It: False Hopes and Fat Profits in the Diet Industry (New York: Penguin USA, 1998), authors Peter Stearns and Laura Fraser offered detailed histories of magical cures and weight-loss fads. Other titles referenced in this edition include books by David Cutler, Edward Glaeser, and Jesse Shapiro, Why Have Americans Become More Obese? (Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003); Kelly Brownell and Katherine Horgen, Food Fight: The Inside Story of the Food Industry, America's Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003); and Greg Critser, Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2003).

Medical and public health societies, along with advocacy organizations, professional associations, and foundations, offer a wealth of information about the relationship between weight, health, and disease. Sources cited in this edition include the American Dietetic Association (ADA), American Heart Association, American Medical Association, American Obesity Association (AOA), American Psychiatric Association (APA), American Public Health Association (APHA), Center for Consumer Freedom, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA), National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA), National Eating Disorders Association, the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute, Inc., Public Citizen, and the Public Health Advocacy Institute.

Simon & Schuster provided the "Healthy Eating Pyramid" depicted in Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy (New York, 2001). The Gallup Organization makes available valuable poll and survey data about Americans' feelings about overweight, obesity, physical activity, diet, and nutrition. Finally, many professional associations, voluntary medical organizations, and foundations dedicated to research, education, and advocacy about eating disorders, overweight, and obesity provided the up-to-date information included in this edition.

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