The National Institutes of Health (NIH) will begin a systematic campaign to fight obesity. The plan will target obesity from both a behavioral and an environmental approach, such as more thoughtful city planning that will encourage exercise. The plan also seeks to improve on pharmaceutical and surgical approaches to fighting obesity and finding out how obesity causes diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.
Obesity has proven to be a tremendously costly disease for the United States?costing an estimated $117 billion a year in direct and indirect costs, which include lost wages due to illness. On obesity research alone, the NIH anticipates that it will spend about $400.1 million in 2004 and $440.3 million in 2005.