BOX 1-1
A Vision for Success

The committee envisions a society of healthy children, healthy families, and healthy communities in which all people realize their full potential and develop the competencies required to interact successfully with their surrounding environments. There is an urgent need to employ large-scale transformative approaches focused on multilevel environmental and policy changes within interconnected systems to reduce the threat of obesity and sustain an enduring impact.


pathways for change and indicators for assessing whether initiatives undertaken are on the right track before their longer-term effects can be fully evaluated. Inherent in the committee’s vision is the belief that children and adults should be able to satisfy their needs, be productive, and lead high-quality lives. Another critical common value expressed in the committee’s development of this vision is the need for safeguards to ensure equity so that children and adults in communities affected by social and economic disparities have opportunities to achieve a healthy weight in the environments where they live, learn, work, and play.

The underlying logic of the committee’s vision is illustrated in Figure 1-1. Favorable environments and behavioral settings positively influence individual, family, and population expectations, norms, and behaviors related to physical activity and healthy eating. Outcomes for individuals and society reflect decreased obesity rates with commensurate improvements in the health and societal outcomes highlighted in Chapter 2. Strategies and actions that drive overall environments in a health-promoting direction will be at the core of efforts to accelerate progress in preventing obesity. The cross-cutting factors listed at the bottom of the figure are a reminder that particular strategies and actions will affect individuals and populations differently depending on their circumstances, resources, and outlooks (IOM, 2007).

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