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Interview: Ross Hammond

Following our report on one girl’s struggle with childhood obesity, host Scott Simon speaks with obesity expert Ross Hammond on the role that public policy can play in nutrition.

Hammond is a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Director for the Center on Social Dynamics and Policy. He argues that no one solution will solve the obesity epidemic in America. Instead, he argues for a multi-level approach, where solutions are employed at the local and federal level.


  • Carolyn haines

    Discussion on Obesity – a suggestion is to begin Health programs in all elementary schools and secondary schools, focusing on how to stay healthy, including food groups beneficial to a healthy lifestyle; exercise and how it can improve your outlook on life as well as your body’s wellness. Students could establish goals for themselves, weigh in each week, keep an active chart of their progress, etc. Awards attractive to each age group could be established for those who accomplish their goals, etc. 

  • Dave B.

    I think revamping the foods we eat should also be considered.  There is far too many additives that we find desireable, but are known to contribute to the obesity epidemic.  It shouldn’t be the role of government to dictate what we eat.  However, it’s critical that we as consumers become more responsible for the choices we make.  If I get fat because I can, and there’s no real repercussions, what motivation do I have as an american to slim down and make healthy choices until it’s too late?

    If insurance carriers are able to discriminate and charge based on the health actions of the individual, and the individual bares the expense, I think people will be more motivated to get healthy than they are today. 

  • Gretchenkromer

    Excellent, informative interview, especially the emphasis on the complex causes of obesity and the need for coordinating multiple approaches to a solution.