May 6, 2003
On Tuesday, February 11, 2003, The New England Coalition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (NECON) and the
Region I (New England) office of the US Department of Health & Human Services (US DHHS) convened a meeting in Marlborough, Massachusetts of a distinguished group of New
England legislators, policy makers and advocates to address the obesity epidemic. The focus of the meeting was the presentation of the NECON strategic plan ("the Plan") for the
prevention and control of obesity in New England. A draft Executive Summary of the Plan and a description of "The 2003 US DHHS New England Diabetes Prevention Initiative" were circulated.
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A multidisciplinary working group, under the direction of Walter Willett, MD, DrPH, Professor of Epidemiology and Chair, Harvard School of Public Health, Department of Nutrition is in the
process of developing the Plan. Representatives of the working group presented tentative recommendations and a panel of responders shared their perspectives and opinions. The
afternoon speakers, a question and answer period, and breakout sessions encouraged the free exchange of ideas among all participants concerning strategies to increase the proportion of
the region's population that consumes a nutritionally appropriate diet and is engaged in daily physical activity.
A copy of the Forum Proceedings is now available online in Portable Document Format* (pdf)
for quick viewing and printing (see link above). A final draft of the Plan will be presented to the New England governors at their 2003 annual conference in September.
Bertram A. Yaffe
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