Several health and consumer organizations say tackling the nation's problem with obesity is key to health care reform.
HealthDay News reports they took their message to Capitol Hill, urging lawmakers to include the obesity epidemic in federal health plan legislation.
And they have the support of former surgeon generals.
"We are in essence addicting our children to sedentary lifestyles; we're addicting them to high-salt, high-sweet, high-fat diets, and then we pay for it later on when they come to us with cancer, heart disease and diabetes," said former Surgeon General Dr. David Satcher.
"At this critical juncture where we're dealing with health-care transformation, we want to make sure that the federal government and our elected leaders recognize the importance of including approaches to obesity that are evidence-based and proven within their legislative strategy," former Surgeon General Dr. Richard Carmona told reporters during a media briefing.
Two-thirds of the American population is now overweight or obese. As many as 72 million adults are considered obese.
Obesity rates have doubled for adults and tripled for children since 1980.