The State of Obesity: Creating Pathways to a Healthier America


October 11, 2023 • Briefing

On October 11, 2023, Trust for America’s Health hosted an in-person and livestream event recognizing the 20th anniversary of its State of Obesity: Better Policies for a Healthier America report at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.  The two-hour event featured White House and federal officials discussing the Biden Administration’s priorities for improving nutrition and health including its National Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. In addition, senior federal agency officials discussed a whole-of-government approach to advance transformative policies and programs designed to address increasing rates of diet-related diseases and improve the health of the nation.

Another highlight of the event was a panel featuring community leaders and medical experts discussing effective community level obesity prevention programs and innovative approaches to create sustainable change to promote health.

Four-time track and field Olympian and American record holder Chaunte Lowe closed the program discussing the role that sports can play in promoting health and well-being. Ms. Lowe is a member of the President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition.



  • Will McIntee
    Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, The White House
  • James “Jim” Jones
    Deputy Commissioner for Human Foods, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
  • Caree Cotwright, PhD, RDN
    Director of Nutrition Security and Health Equity, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Ruth Petersen, M.D., MPH
    Director, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Jamila Freightman
    CDC High Obesity Program Manager, Louisiana State University AgCenter Healthy Communities Program School of Nutrition and Food Sciences
  • Randy Williams
    Co-Founder/Vice President of the Robinson/Williams Restoration of Hope Community Center, Bastrop, Louisiana
  • Kofi Essel, M.D., MPH, FAAP
    Food as Medicine Program Director, Elevance Health
  • Chaunte Lowe
    4-time Olympian, American Record Holder, and Council Member, President’s Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition


  • Dr. J. Nadine Gracia
    Dr. J. Nadine Gracia is the President and CEO of Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a nonprofit, nonpartisan public health policy, research and advocacy organization that promotes optimal health for every person and community.
  • Dr. Tekisha Dwan Everette
    Tekisha Everette is TFAH’s Executive Vice President. In this role, she works in partnership with TFAH’s President and CEO to chart and implement the organization’s strategic direction and priorities, provides counsel on current and emerging policy issues, and engages with key organizations, policymakers, and other partners to advance policy priorities to improve public health and promote equity.
  • Stacy Molander
    Stacy Molander is TFAH’s Chief Operating Officer. In this role, she works in partnership with TFAH’s President and CEO to shape and implement the organization’s strategic direction and organizational priorities and helps build and execute strategic partnerships to promote public health and equity.