Secretaries Glickman, Leavitt, Shalala and Veneman in The Hill: "Lots to Lose - How Obesity is Costing America"

Jun 05, 2012, 08:12 ET from Bipartisan Policy Center

WASHINGTON, June 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --  In an op-ed published by The Hill today, former Secretaries of Agriculture Dan Glickman and Ann M. Veneman and former U.S. Secretaries of Health and Human Services Donna E. Shalala and Mike Leavitt, highlight the staggering cost of America's obesity crisis. Later this morning, the co-chairs, who lead the Bipartisan Policy Center's Nutrition and Physical Activity Initiative, will release a new report, entitled Lots to Lose: How America's Health and Obesity Crisis Threatens our Economic Future.

Watch the press conference live beginning at 9:00AM ET here.

"Apart from adverse impacts on quality and length of life, the economic costs of this epidemic are staggering: $147 billion per year in direct costs, and $300 billion if indirect costs like lost productivity are included. Moreover, as experts from across the political spectrum have noted, escalating healthcare costs are the main driver of our national debt and the fastest growing part of our national budget, which simply cannot be brought under control unless we reduce long-term health costs," says the op-ed.

"We stand eager to work with the president, Congress, governors, corporations, the military, health professionals, schools and — most importantly — families and individuals to implement these and the many good ideas of others. Our recommendations… are intended to empower our people to live healthier, wealthier and longer lives in the face of a real and present danger to our security, economy and well-being."

Click here to read the full editorial.

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Founded in 2007 by former Senate Majority Leaders Howard Baker, Tom Daschle, Bob Dole and George Mitchell, the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) is a non-profit organization that drives principled solutions through rigorous analysis, reasoned negotiation, and respectful dialogue. With projects in multiple issue areas, BPC combines politically-balanced policymaking with strong, proactive advocacy and outreach. For more information, please visit our website:

SOURCE Bipartisan Policy Center