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Trimming The Fat

Oklahoma City takes obesity head on. And it’s government behind the wheel. We’ll take a national look at trimming America’s fat with taxpayer dollars.

People walk on the street, Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Montpelier, Vt. National statistics show that Vermont is dropping from its perch near the top of national rankings of the least obese states. In 1995, 13.4 percent of Vermonters were considered obese. Now the figure is 23.5. (AP)

People walk on the street, Thursday, July 7, 2011, in Montpelier, Vt. National statistics show that Vermont is dropping from its perch near the top of national rankings of the least obese states. In 1995, 13.4 percent of Vermonters were considered obese. Now the figure is 23.5. (AP)

It’s a done deal this week.  Big gulp, super-sized sodas will be banned in New York.  Mayor Bloomberg’s desperate effort to fight obesity.  At McDonald’s, the calorie count for every Big Mac and double cheeseburger is headed up on the menu board.

At least you’ll know.  And across the country, cites and towns,  states and families, individuals wrestling with a national crisis of obesity.  It’s a health menace.  We can’t afford it.  How do we turn it around?

This hour, On Point:  we look at Oklahoma City as a test case, and to what we’ve learned about how to tackle obesity.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Mick Cornett, mayor of Oklahoma City.

Michael Bailey, county health worker in Oklahoma City.

Kelly Brownell, professor of epidemiology and Public Health and Director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University. Co-author of: Food Fight: The Inside Story of The Food Industry, America’s Obesity Crisis, and What We Can Do About It.

From Tom’s Reading List

Business Week “Five years ago, Oklahoma City was named one of the fattest cities in America. Today, it’s one of the fittest and looks to stay that way. Not only have residents lost tons of cumulative weight, they also joined forces with business interests to raise taxes to fund $917 million worth of public improvements aimed at advancing community health, fitness, and quality of life.”

New York Times “Local governments across the country are creating dozens of such experiments with money from the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act. It is part of a broad national effort set in motion by the law to nudge a health care system geared toward responding to illness to one that tries to stop people from getting sick in the first place. To that end, the law created the $10 billion Prevention and Public Health Fund, the largest-ever federal investment in community prevention.”

Video

Here is part of the HBO series “Weight of a Nation.”

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