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Statement from James O. Hill, Ph.D., President, Global Energy Balance Network

Tuesday, 11th August 2015
    Recent media reports suggesting that the work of my colleagues and me promotes the idea that exercise is more important than diet in addressing obesity vastly oversimplifies this complex issue. As a researcher on weight control and obesity for more than 25 years, the author of two books on the subject and co-founder of the National Weight Control Registry, I can say unequivocally that diet is a critical component of weight control, as are exercise, stress management, sleep, and environmental and other factors. The problem does not have a single cause and cannot be addressed by singling out only one of those factors in the solution.

    Addressing this important public health issue requires engagement from universities, public health entities, government and industry, and we have seen a great need to develop a strong network to achieve that end. The Global Energy Balance Network (GEBN), funded in part by a $1.5 million in support from the Coca-Cola Company, aims to create that network by using science to help address the obesity crisis in the United States and around the world. Funding from the Coca-Cola Company will help build the infrastructure for an international consortium of scientists and representatives from a variety of sectors dedicated to battling obesity. The food, physical fitness, healthcare and other industries all must play a role in the solution. The GEBN’s research and educational efforts are independent and not subject to pre-approval by the Coca-Cola Company.

    Industry collaboration with higher education is a common practice today, and the University of Colorado has policies and procedures in place that adhere to high standards of professional and ethical conduct.