The purpose of Shape Up America! is to educate the public on the importance of the achievement and maintenance of a healthy body weight through the adoption of increased physical activity and healthy eating. Our mission is based on the scientific evidence that obesity is not just an appearance problem; it is a condition that can lead to serious disease. Obesity is associated with five of the ten leading causes of death and disability in the United States — heart disease, some forms of cancer, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and hypertension (high blood pressure). By clearly defining obesity as a major public health issue, Shape Up America! is conducting a broad-based education initiative to encourage sensible eating and increased physical activity in all individuals and a modest weight loss in overweight individuals that can be maintained over time.
With the ultimate goal of stimulating behavior change, Shape Up America! is focusing on redefining weight management by encouraging increased physical activity and healthy eating for all Americans. Shape Up America! encourages small lifestyle changes that provide immediate health dividends, such as lower blood cholesterol levels. Additional benefits include increased independence, productivity, and reduced demands for health care services. Accordingly, the key messages are designed to promote increased physical activity and improvements in dietary intake that prevent weight gain or produce weight loss and weight maintenance. Shape Up America! is committed to disseminating these messages to men, women, and children of all ages, regardless of their ethnicity or socioeconomic status.