The paper outlines steps to incorporate energy balance principles into public health strategies. The recommendations include:
· Integrate energy balance into curriculum and training for both exercise science and nutrition professionals and strengthen collaborative efforts between them.
· Develop competencies for school and physical education teachers and position them as energy balance advocates.
· Develop core standards for schools that integrate the dynamic energy balance approach.
· Work with federally funded nutrition programs like the Cooperative Extension Service and school lunch programs to incorporate energy balance solutions.
· Develop messaging and promotional strategies about energy balance that American consumers can understand and apply to their lifestyles.
· Map out and support existing programs that emphasize energy balance.
“We have been discussing and analyzing the obesity epidemic for years. I am ecstatic to see actionable steps toward realistic solutions,” said Marianne Smith Edge, MS, RD, LD, FADA, the IFIC Foundation’s senior vice president of nutrition and food safety and co-author of the paper. “Addressing obesity prevention through sharing best practices with consumers and community leaders, in addition to undergraduate and graduate level training, is a comprehensive approach that works.”
The paper is an outcome of the October 2012 expert panel meeting titled “Energy Balance at the Crossroads: Translating the Science into Action,” hosted by ACSM, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)/Agriculture Research Service.
The IFIC Foundation, along with ILSI North America, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the American College of Sports Medicine, held a webinar for health professionals Aug. 28 on the same subject as the paper; it can be viewed here.
In addition to Ms. Smith Edge, the article’s co-authors are Melinda M. Manore, Oregon State University; Katie Brown, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation; Linda Houtkooper, University of Arizona; John Jakicic, University of Pittsburgh; John C. Peters, University of Colorado, Denver; Alison Steiber, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation; Scott Going, University of Arizona; Lisa Guillermin Gable, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation; and Ann Marie Krautheim, National Dairy Council.
In a related vein, the IFIC Foundation’s Food Insight newsletter published an article in its September issue about a new study in the American Journal of Medicine that suggests that decreased physical activity is a bigger culprit in our nation’s expanding waistlines than increased calorie intake. The story is accompanied by an infographic summarizing key findings.