The United States and other nations have reasons to fear the obesity epidemic, and especially its effects on children, said Bill Purcell,1 former mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, and chair of the Roundtable on Obesity Solutions, in his closing remarks at the workshop. But the workshop, he asserted, had revealed why “there is great hope and reason to believe that, together in the ways that have been described here, we will indeed do exactly what members of this roundtable have hoped we could accomplish.” For almost 15 years, he noted, the Institute of Medicine and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine have worked hard to understand the epidemic and do something about it, and have been committed to serving as the lead in that effort.
Purcell quoted Ecclesiastes, fourth chapter, 13th verse: “Better is a poor and a wise child than an old but foolish king, who will no more be admonished.” Many poor children “need our help right now,” he said. All those who have authority over the lives of children have a clear responsibility, he stated. “We leave this room understanding that charge and understanding that the future can and will be brighter,” he concluded.
1 Currently with Farmer Purcell White & Lassiter, PLLC.
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