For years now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported nothing but bad news about our expanding waistlines. But as this week's cover story on low-carb mania demonstrates, Americans are revising their bad habits. Out of a sense that the obesity epidemic may be peaking and that the country is ready for change, TIME and ABC News have decided to address the issue head on--in print, on the air and at a joint summit on obesity next month.
We and our partners at ABC News consider obesity--especially in children--one of the great health challenges of our age. The idea of the summit, funded primarily by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, is to gather the smartest thinkers on the problem and propose solutions to end it in our lifetimes. We are inviting leaders from food, beverage, insurance, pharmaceutical and health-care companies, along with doctors, nutritionists, educators, elected officials and concerned citizens. Among the experts who have agreed to attend are Richard Carmona, U.S. Surgeon General; Eric Hentges, who is redesigning the food pyramid for the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Dr. T. Berry Brazelton, one of America's leading child psychiatrists; Kelly Brownell, Yale's top expert on eating disorders; Brock Leach, senior vice president and chief innovation officer at PepsiCo; Ann Fudge, chairman of the giant ad agency Young & Rubicam; and Marva Smalls, executive vice president of Nickelodeon, whose ad campaigns encourage young viewers to get off the couch and play outside.
In addition to a special report that TIME is preparing, ABC News is planning a series of reports on its broadcasts, including Good Morning America, World News Tonight with Peter Jennings and Nightline. Additional coverage will be provided by Time.com and ABCnews.com as well as ABC News Radio and ABC News Live.
The conference will take place in Williamsburg, Va., from June 2 to June 4. The number of participants is limited, but space is still available. If you are interested, visit our website at time.com/obesity or call 877-860-7697.