WASHINGTON, Mar 09, 2004 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- The U.S. Health and Human Services Department launched a nationwide effort and ad campaign Tuesday to fight the nation's growing obesity problem.
"We're just too darn fat, ladies and gentlemen -- and we're going to do something about it," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson told an audience of nearly 200 at the effort's unveiling. Healthier, more active Americans would improve the economy by saving health care costs, he said.
Thompson's announcement coincides with the release of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report indicating poor diet and physical inactivity may soon surpass tobacco as the nation's leading cause of death.
The new public service ad campaign includes three commercials by the Ad Council and Sesame Workshop that emphasize small steps Americans can take to prevent obesity.Thompson encouraged employers, schools and restaurants to take steps to boost physical activity.
Copyright 2004 by United Press International.