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“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits, and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

U.S. Surgeon General,
Richard Carmona,
March 2004

About the Summit

Focus of the Summit

The 2009 summit showcased the latest scientific evidence supporting the concept of sugar, fat, and refined food addiction and its connection to the worldwide obesity epidemic. The summit featured scientists, researchers, healthcare clinicians and public policy professionals who understand refined food addiction. Their combined research, experience and knowledge provided greater awareness around refined food addiction and its impact on our obesity epidemic.

Purpose of the Summit

The purpose of this summit was to present the most current scientific research related to food addiction in an effort to raise awareness and understanding of this devastating disease. We explored ways to effectively educate the public about the consequences of food addiction and the importance of creating healthy food environments to lower the incidence of the many health-related problems associated with obesity. At the end of each day, participants had the opportunity to break into small groups and discuss the findings of the presentations. The conclusions and recommendations from these breakout sessions were featured in the summit proceedings.

Why This Summit Now?

Obesity and its devastating physical consequences will claim hundreds of thousands of victims in the next few years. Early death, blindness, and amputations from diabetes, paralysis from stroke, and incapacitation from heart disease are just a few issues that now plague millions of obese adults. Our children face many of these physical issues in greater numbers and at much younger ages than ever before, leading to a lifetime of disease and social ramifications such as criticism, isolation and shame. This summit provided the latest scientific research showing how highly refined foods have the potential to become as addictive as alcohol and tobacco, thus confirming their influence on our obesity epidemic and the increasing health problems worldwide.