The Campaign to End Obesity
Challenge: Over the past decade, obesity has become recognized as a national health threat. In 2007, the CDC reported “enhanced collaborative efforts among national, state, and community groups are needed to establish, evaluate, and sustain effective programs and policies to reduce the prevalence of obesity in the United States.” Yet, until that time, no advocacy collaboration existed among the many, diverse interests who seek to address the nation’s obesity policy.
Approach: Venn Strategies, LLC designed and executed the National Summit on Obesity Policy in Washington DC in 2007 to help interested parties from industry and the public health community come together to identify a consensus federal policy agenda for reversing obesity. As an outgrowth of this successful national summit, the Campaign to End Obesity was launched and today is the leading federal advocacy collaborative for industry, public health and academia to seek federal policy change.
Our work continues today by managing the Campaign, developing and implementing legislative strategy and goals, orchestrating a supporting communications agenda, and working with key members of the Administration, House and Senate to build momentum for policies to combat obesity, in areas ranging from health care, nutrition, transportation, environment, education, and even energy policy.
Results: Through engagement with leaders in the Administration, the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign, Members of Congress and their staffs, the Campaign has not only become a trusted resource but also helped to create tangible legislative initiatives and build an environment conducive to increased awareness and efforts regarding the obesity epidemic.
In the current Congress alone, the results of these efforts include: the inclusion of landmark anti-obesity and wellness provisions in the 2010 Affordable Care Act; the introduction of the Healthy CHOICES Act, the first-ever comprehensive approach to ending the obesity epidemic; the April 2010 House passage of the FIT Kids Act ; the Senate passage of major new anti-obesity initiatives as part of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization; and the introduction of the Fit for L.I.F.E. Act of 2010 to help Americans in underserved communities build healthy diets and improve access to physical activity.
The Campaign’s leaders are regularly sought out by numerous media outlets for its opinions and expertise.