DC Influencer: Lisa Guillermin Gable, executive director, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation

Lisa Guillermin Gable, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation executive director, talks to Jaimy Lee about its role in the war on obesity.

Lisa Guillermin Gable, Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation executive director, talks to Jaimy Lee about its role in the war on obesity. 

What are the group's main objectives?

To take action and see the results of that in the places where people spend most of their time - which is in the workplace, schools, and the marketplace. The key differentiator is that we have identified outside evaluators to those areas to measure the impact of the actions we take on helping people maintain healthy weight.

Why is it important for industry to take an active role in this debate?

Industry has a direct relationship with consumers. We have spent a great deal of time understanding consumers' needs and wants. We talk about this from the framework of "calories in and calories out."

We represent a certain percentage of the marketplace. It's a capital campaign to help reverse the trend of obesity. It's important for us as market leaders to provide that piece of the campaign.

Are you communicating with policymakers about this initiative?

Our focus is on those key platforms. As the initial activity in our public education campaign on May 4, we launched three websites. One is a partnership with Parents magazine. There is also a print component that is in Ebony, Ser Padres, Family Circle, as well as online with Tu Salud.com.

We also have a partner- ship with Discovery Education and are developing an energy-balance curriculum that is provided free of charge to 50% of the elementary schools in the US. The third partnership is in the area of workplace wellness with the National Business Group on Health.

Why is it important now for industry and government to work together on issues like this?

The first lady has used the platform she has at the White House to bring the nation's attention to the problem of obesity. You were seeing conversations about the topic, but you didn't have the entire country talking about it until she brought the issue forward.

As a result, it's very important that a wide variety of businesses come together and look at the leadership she has provided. She has given us an opening to work together to help try and stop this trend of obesity.

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