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Anti-Obesity Campaign Should Be More Like Anti-Tobacco

When it comes to US health care spending, obesity has officially surpassed tobacco, totaling a staggering $190 billion per year, compared to tobacco’s $96 billion. Currently, 45 million American adults are smokers, while 78 million adults and almost 13 million youngsters are obese. As reported by USA Today, Many health officials are calling for more ambitious tactics to reduce obesity, similar to ones used on tobacco, which reduced tobacco consumption by 23% since 1965.

However, it was not the lawsuits and outing of company practices that ultimately turned the tide against tobacco companies, says Stanton Glantz, director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California-San Francisco, in the article. Rather, it was a shift in emphasis from changing individual behavior to community-based activism and holding cigarette manufacturers accountable for harmful products. Many leading health experts say this is the way to go for anti-obesity measures as well.

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