Posts tagged childhood obesity
9/20/13: Watch Live Stream of Childhood Obesity Summit With Olympic Figure Skater Michelle Kwan, Researcher Amelie Ramirez, Others0
Washington Post Live will host a Childhood Obesity Summit on Sept. 20, 2013, featuring these and other exciting leaders in the movement who will offer fresh perspectives on strategies for reversing the epidemic and recent signs of progress.
There are a few ways you can take part:
- Apply here to attend in person in Washington, D.C.
- Watch a livestream of the event.
- Converse on Twitter using the hashtag #childhoodobesity.
Other scheduled speakers include Regina Benjamin, the 18th Surgeon General of the United States; Yael Lehmann, executive director of The Food Trust; Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF; which is also sponsoring the event).
Discussions will center on strategies to reduce obesity that are proving to be successful, including changes to school meals programs, efforts to improve access to healthy food in underserved communities and opportunities to encourage physical activity throughout the school day.
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, director of Salud America!, an RWJF-funded research network based at the Institute for Health Promotion Research at The UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, will discuss what’s working to improve healthy lifestyles in Latino-centric regions across the country.
Dr. Ramirez’ Twitter handle is @SaludToday.
#FoodFri is a weekly tweetchat MomsRising hosts on Twitter every Friday at noon central/1 p.m. eastern to provide a platform for our food policy partners and the larger food justice community to address food in schools, food marketing to children and other topics.
For other upcoming #FoodFri chats, see here.
For Salud America! research on healthier marketing and Latino kids, go here.
Check out this cool infographic on the need to reduce unhealthy food marketing to Latino kids.
The infographic, which is part of a new Salud America! “Healthier Marketing and Latino Kids” package of research, which also contains a research review, issue brief and animated video, can be found here
About 25% of Latino third-graders in the state are obese.
Some experts in the region are highlighting unhealthy marketing as a contributor, given Latino kids’ high exposure to media, the New Britain Herald reports.
“In my opinion, Spanish-speaking children are more heavily targeted by junk food, dessert and sugar-sweetened beverage ads because their community is very disempowered and does not have the means to advocate for changes in these unhealthy marketing practices that have been seriously questioned by groups that have a higher social position in the country,” Dr. Rafael Perez-Escamilla, director of the Connecticut Center for Eliminating Health Disparities among Latinos at the University of Connecticut, told the New Britain Herald.
The food industry in the U.S. “self-regulates” itself regarding content of advertisements targeting children, but some politicians and groups around the nation are working down on young Latinos’ exposure to marketing of unhealthy foods, according to the article.
Learn more about getting involved in marketing issues at ChangeLab Solutions.
A recent study by the Children’s Nutrition Research Center in Houston, Texas has discovered an interesting correlation between obesity and peanut consumption. According to their study, Mexican-American children who consume peanuts at least once a week are less likely to be overweight or obese.
Currently, 39% of the Mexican-American children are classified as overweight or obese, compared to the 32% of all children in the United States- a fact that prompts studies like this, that explore what factors and foods affect childhood obesity.
Studies have long shown the health benefits of nut consumption for adults, aiding in lower lipid levels, lower body mass indices, and reduced risk of coronary artery disease. This study looks specifically at how these benefits relate to children.
It was found that the Mexican-American children in the study who ate peanuts had significantly higher intakes of several vitamins and micronutrients, such as magnesium and Vitamin E, along with having lower low-density lipoprotein and total cholesterol levels. These results show that the consumption of peanuts and/or peanut butter may be associated with lower weight status, improved diet, and lipid levels among Mexican-American Children.
Finding these key foods or health factors that may assist in reducing childhood obesity is vital, because they may also play a role in reducing obesity related diseases. Hispanically Speaking News discussed the research pointing out that, “These vitamins are often deficient amongst Mexican-Americans. Consumption of those vitamins, amongst others, helps reduce the risk for diabetes and heart disease.” More research will be needed to see how the consumption of peanuts plays a role in the overall health of children and adolescents.
About 93% of Latinos and 87% of African Americans endorsed the new USDA school nutrition standards, higher percentages than the overall population (83%), according to a recent survey conducted by Field Research Corp.
About 78% of all parents think healthier school food will boost academic performance.
The phone survey, conducted in 2013, reached 2,104 adults across the country to assess the public’s pulse on childhood obesity, and actions schools and communities could take to combat the epidemic.
Other key findings include:
- Among all respondents, 90% believe their local K-12 schools should play the biggest community role in fighting obesity.
- Among all respondents, 74% believe that community groups and organizations should be involved in reducing obesity, and that it’s not a family or personal issue only.
- Larger proportions of African Americans (84%) and Latinos (82%) than others believe community groups and organizations should be involved in reducing obesity.
“These findings confirm there is widespread support for school and community involvement in combating childhood obesity,” said Mark DiCamillo of Field Research Corp. “The results show a strong desire on the part of Americans to take actions to reduce obesity in their own lives, the lives of their families and in local communities.”
Critics didn’t think Rosa Soto would amount to anything because of her lisp. They thought she’d never graduate, or get a good job.
But Soto overcame her lisp, earned a political science and international relations degree from the University of Southern California, and has worked to empower underserved families and children for more than 15 years, according to a new profile story about her by the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC).
Soto is currently the regional director for the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA) and the project director for the HKHC project in Baldwin Park, Calif.
“I’m a community organizer. I never thought of myself as a public health person,” she said, although her career spans teen pregnancy, diabetes and now childhood obesity.
Soto grounds herself in family and in helping others find their voice, according to the profile story. Rosa’s parents were immigrants from Mexico.
“A lot of my childhood was about fitting in and finding a place of belonging,” she explained. And she wants others to also feel they belong and can make a difference. That the status quo doesn’t have to remain “the norm.” This work is important to me because it gives me an opportunity to demonstrate that change is possible.”
Read Soto’s full story here.
States could dramatically cut health care costs and prevent obesity-related diseases if they reduce the average body mass index (BMI) of their residents by just 5% by 2030, according to a new analysis in the F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future 2012 report.
The report, released this week by Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), also shows that if adult obesity rates continue on their current trajectories, by 2030 all 50 states could have rates above 44% and a quarter could have rates above 60%. With that, the number of new cases of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke, hypertension and arthritis could increase 10-fold by 2020—and double again by 2030.
Like obesity, these are diseases that disproportionately affect African Americans and Hispanics.
“This study shows us two futures for America’s health,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, RWJF president and CEO. “At every level of government, we must pursue policies that preserve health, prevent disease and reduce health care costs. Nothing less is acceptable.”
The analysis, which was commissioned by TFAH and RWJF and conducted by the National Heart Forum, is based on a peer-reviewed model published last year in The Lancet.
The Impact of Reducing Adult Obesity on Health Care Costs
The analysis looked at the consequences for states if their residents’ average BMI decreased 5% by 2030. A person who is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 210 pounds, would be classified as obese (with a BMI of 30.1). A 5% reduction in his or her BMI would be the equivalent of losing roughly 10.5 pounds.
The subsequent cost savings for states through lower rates of obesity-related diseases would be substantial. The projections include:
- California – $81 billion
- New York – $40 billion
- Texas – $54 billion
- Illinois – $28 billion
- Florida – $34 billion
On the basis of the data collected and a comprehensive analysis, TFAH and RWJF recommend making investments in obesity prevention in a way that matches the severity of the health and financial toll the epidemic takes on the nation. The report provides a series of policy recommendations, including:
- Fully implement the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act through new school meal standards and updated nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages in schools;
- Increase investments in effective, evidence-based obesity-prevention programs;
- Protect the Prevention and Public Health Fund and fully implement the National Prevention Strategy and Action Plan;
- Make physical education and physical activity a priority in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act;
- Finalize the guidelines of the Interagency Working Group on Food Marketed to Children;
- Fully support healthy nutrition in federal food programs; and
- Encourage full use of preventive health care services and provide support beyond the doctor’s office.
“We know a lot more about how to prevent obesity than we did 10 years ago,” said Dr. Jeff Levi, executive director of TFAH. “This report outlines how policies like increasing physical activity time in schools and making fresh fruits and vegetables more affordable can help make healthier choices easier. Small changes can add up to a big difference. Policy changes can help make healthier choices easier for Americans in their daily lives.”
Check out these videos of a few Latino families who are improving their healthy lifestyle habits.
A healthy change in her family’s eating habits has influenced eleven-year-old Alejandra to dream of being a chef when she grows up:
When Maya, age 7, learned of her high triglyceride levels, she and her family changed their eating habits to better manage her cholesterol:
The videos are from Be Smart. Be Well.