Pennington Biomedical aims to slash obesity rates by 2040

Updated: Jun. 14, 2021 at 8:07 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The Pennington Biomedical Research Center says more than 40 percent of Americans are overweight, which leads to 300,000 obesity-related deaths a year.

In America, fast-food restaurants outnumber grocery stores by six to one and portion sizes are four times larger than a half-century ago. That’s why those statistics from Pennington are not hard to believe.

Food access and accessibility are major contributors. More than 40 million Americans can’t regularly afford nutritious food. Researchers say they want to break the stigma that obesity is caused by a lack of control.

“We have advertisements on TV, we have people living in environments conducive to sitting and not doing physical activity, and eating poorly, and not having opportunities in order to make changes, and living in environments that don’t spot the change,” said Robert L. Newton Jr., Ph.D. “This really is a systemic problem. It’s not that people lack control. It’s that they’re constantly being exposed to situations that increase their likelihood of developing obesity.”

Pennington Biomedical has scientists and doctors working to create breakthrough programs to help change the way America eats and exercises.

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