181552 Moving forward: Can the lessons learned from the tobacco cessation movement launch the obesity prevention movement forward?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Caren Bacon, MPH , Institute of Public Policy, University of Missouri-Columbia, Columbia, MO
Jill Nicholson-Crotty, PhD , Truman School of Public Affairs, University of Missouri - Columbia, Columbia, MO
Smoking and tobacco has been the public health crisis of our time, but obesity is quickly taking over this position. We are now facing a generation that has a life expectancy shorter than that of their parents due to obesity-related disease. In light of the declining health of the nation's youth and the rapidly rising cost of health care, local, state, and federal governments as well as numerous private for and not-for profit organizations are scrambling to stem the current epidemic. While researchers are aware that there are lessons to be learned from the tobacco control and smoking cessation movement, many do not recognize that the tobacco control and smoking cessation movement has existed for much longer and has overcome many of the initial research, policy and program hurdles that still confront obesity prevention. By not accounting for this, the obesity prevention movement will face a hindrance to those on the frontline of the obesity prevention programs.

Many obesity initiatives are undertaken without a full awareness of the full range of activities that underlie today's smoking prevention initiatives and, consequently, attempt to start where smoking cessation programs are - not where they were at their inception. This paper will examine how the smoking cessation and obesity prevention programs have progressed with a focus on the lessons that can be learned for obesity prevention from the smoking programs.

Learning Objectives:
At the conclusion of this presentation the participants will be able to 1)Identify the major stages in the tobacco prevention effort and the relevance of those stages for obesity prevention. 2)Understand the similarities and differences in the evolution of health programs targeted at tobacco cessation and obesity prevention. 3)Understand the trajectory of the obesity prevention activities.

Keywords: Obesity, Health Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been working on evaluating obesity prevention programs in Missouri.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.