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US Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Tommy Thompson has unveiled a public-service ad campaign featuring what The Wall Street Journal refers to as "love handles, blubbery bellies and other flabby body parts, all discarded by people who have started to eat right and get in shape."

The goal of the campaign is to get people to take responsibility for their own obesity/overweight issues in a world where almost two-thirds of the US adult population is overweight and almost a third are considered obese.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has published research saying that poor diet and physical inactivity accounted for about 400,000 deaths in the U.S. in 2000, or about 17 percent of all deaths and just shy of the 435,000 deaths caused in 2000 by tobacco use. Ten years earlier, poor diet and physical inactivity accounted for just 100,000 deaths.

"This is really a tragedy," says Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the authors of the study. "Obesity is the overt manifestation" of poor diet and sedentary lifestyle, and it's a "preventable risk factor," she says.
KC's View:
We're somehow dubious that a really good ad campaign is going to solve the nation's obesity problem. But maybe we're just getting cynical…