On the heels of a study, which found obesity is gaining on smoking as the leading cause of preventable death, comes an action plan by the government that gets to the gut of the issue, food.

The comprehensive plan by the F.D.A. is designed to make it easier for Americans to know what they're eating. It includes a menu of recommendations such as more precise nutrition labels with easier to understand portion information.

At home and when eating out, the F.D.A. report encourages restaurants to provide calorie and nutritional information to customers.

The F.D.A. is also considering specific definitions for terms like low-carb and carb-free, and is stepping up research into drugs and other therapies to tackle obesity. Lofty goals the government hopes to have in place in enough time to claim victory in the battle of the bulge.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 64 percent of all Americans are overweight, including more than 30 percent who are considered obese. About 15 percent of children and adolescents ages 6 to 19 are overweight...almost double the rate of two decades ago.