State of the Union Must Address America's Alarming Health Says National Doctors Group

The Physicians Committee
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NEWS RELEASE January 13, 2015
State of the Union Must Address America's Alarming Health Says National Doctors Group
White House Petition Calls for Bold Plan to Solve Health Disparities, Childhood Obesity

WASHINGTON—The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine—a national organization of more than 12,000 doctors—is urging people living in America to sign a petition that respectfully asks President Barack Obama to lay out a bold vision in his State of the Union Address on Jan. 20 for improving America’s health and combating childhood obesity

The online petition available at http://wh.gov/i4Yrx is an excerpt of a more extensive letter Physicians Committee president Neal Barnard, M.D., sent to President Obama on Jan. 13, which states that his leadership is essential in the following areas

“(1) the poor state of health of many Americans, (2) the glaring health disparities between people who are economically challenged and those of means, and (3) continuing poor diet habits in children and the lack of progress in preventing childhood obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other chronic health conditions directly linked to poor diets.

Scientific evidence is unequivocal on healthful eating. Most recently, the final meeting of Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) placed priority on moving toward a healthier and more sustainable diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and lower in red and processed meat—stating that a dietary pattern higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods is “more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact than is the current average U.S. diet.”

“Given the lack of progress on childhood obesity and continuing health disparities, we hope the State of the Union Address will offer new leadership, starting with changing food policies in major ways,” says nutrition researcher Neal Barnard, M.D. “Failing that, this petition will give the White House another opportunity to tell the country how it will tackle nutritional problems that touch every single person in America.”

Founded in 1985, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a nonprofit health organization that promotes preventive medicine, conducts clinical research, and encourages higher standards for ethics and effectiveness in research and medical training.