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AMA to St. Louis Post Dispatch: Healthier Steps

Aug. 18, 2012 (published)

St. Louis Post Dispatch
Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:

The American Medical Association long has recognized obesity as a major public health concern and is committed to helping physicians help patients to live longer, healthier lives ("Obesity plagues state," Aug. 14).

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of American adults are obese, putting them at a higher risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer. Obesity also has financial implications, as the treatment for obesity and its health consequences accounts for an astounding $147 billion of our country's annual health care spending. We must take steps to prevent and better treat obesity.

The AMA's Healthier Life Steps program is a free resource that helps patients and physicians work together to address key health behaviors, including healthy eating and physical activity, by helping them to set goals and create an action plan.

The AMA is committed to helping physicians improve the health of their patients. In the years ahead, as part of a new strategic direction, the AMA will focus on improving health outcomes to enhance the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.

Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD
President, American Medical Association