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Obesity & Healthy Weight
The Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, in 2007-2008, estimated 68% of U.S. adults were overweight or obese, and that 17% of children and adolescents were obese. NIFA and its Land-Grant System partners, with their existing infrastructure and networks, are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the power of their three-part mission in research, education, and extension to bring a holistic approach to solving the multifaceted obesity problem.

The obesity projects include: identifying nutritional needs; developing new foods to help achieve caloric balance; providing nutrition education; conducting behavioral research; and planning, conducting, and evaluating dietary interventions.

Notable differences occur among racial, ethnic, and economically disadvantaged groups. Obesity is the result of an imbalance of food intake and the energy used. It is influenced by heredity and one's environment. Many complex factors affect obesity. These include: genetics, physiology, psychology, sociology, economics, environment, community, food production, interventions, and education.

When food was scarce and energy needs for physical activity high, consumer demand was overshadowed by the limits of the food supply. Now the food supply is abundant, and levels of physical activity are decreasing for most Americans. Concerns about obesity will have a major influence on agriculture, food, and community systems of the future.

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