The USDA will host a National Obesity Prevention Conference Oct. 25-27 in Bethesda, Md., to identify research and actions needed to help prevent obesity.

The conference, says Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, "will provide an opportunity to review current research we have to date and set the course for future research that will guide us in preventing further increases in the prevalence and severity of this important public health concern."

The first working session will focus on diet, nutrition and energy balance, and will include discussions on ways the food-processing industry can help prevent obesity. The second session will explore research aimed at understanding what people eat and why. A third session will focus on interventions and activities to help improve Americans' food choices.

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