The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s (IATP) Dr. David Wallinga is featured in a new HBO multi-movie series on the nation’s obesity epidemic and the systemic drivers of it. Dr. Wallinga joins other experts in public health, health policy and obesity prevention research to discuss an issue that costs the country an estimated $190 billion per year, and will impact more than 42 percent of the population by 2030.
The Weight of the Nation premieres on Monday, May 14 and Tuesday, May 15. Dr. Wallinga is featured in part IV: Challenges, where he talks about food and agricultural policy as contributors to the obesity epidemic. An essay on the same topic written by Dr. Wallinga appeared in March 2010 in the influential policy journal, Health Affairs.
IATP works on the issue of obesity as related to food and agriculture policy through its Food and Health program, led by Dr. Wallinga. In 2006, IATP published, Food Without Thought, looking at the relationship of obesity to food policy. In March of 2007, IATP, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation andthe W.K. Kellogg Foundation hosted the first national conference on childhood obesity and the agricultural policy at the Wingspread conference center in Racine, Wisconsin. IATP’s latest efforts include organizing Healthy Food Action, a project designed to engage health professionals in the national discussion about food, health and agriculture.
“This epidemic is complex. We can move forward, but it will take all of us acting at every level—including policy change—to change the food environments in our communities for the better,” said Wallinga. “The HBO series is compelling in laying out the scope of the problem, but also the necessity and wide ranging nature of the solutions.”