Soraya
Ghebleh
CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN
AMERICA:
STRATEGIES AND POLICY OPTIONS
FOR PREVENTION AND REDUCTION
¡  1 out of 3 children in the United States are overweight
¡  Rates of childhood obesity have tripled since the 1960s
¡...
Conclusions and Priorities determined by the IOM
INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE:
PROGRESS REPORT
While the country has responded to...
¡  Lack of physical activity
¡  Improper diet
¡  Socioeconomic factors
¡  Education on healthy behaviors and diet is o...
STRATEGIES
Regulate
Food
Sales
Encourage
Healthy
Behavior
Education
and
Prevention
¡  Studies and surveys have demonstrated
that consumers support menu labeling,
available nutrition information provided
i...
¡  Food stamps have the potential to result in excessive caloric
intake and it has been suggested that food stamp recipie...
¡  Decreased access to foods leading to obesity and increased
access to healthy foods may combat obesity. 
¡  Sugar-swee...
¡  Exposure to food environments and
retail spaces that have poor-quality
foods are associated with adolescent
eating pat...
¡  Schools are a consistent source of nutrition for most children
regardless of their home environment and is a location ...
¡  Despite the constitutional impediment of free speech, efforts
can be made to reduce direct marketing of unhealthy food...
¡  Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and other food items that
have high fat content can be done to deter unhealthy eating...
¡  Increased access to healthy food in areas with higher poverty can
reduce obesity and encourage healthy choices. Develo...
¡  After-school programs can improve
physical activity levels and contribute to
reduction in weight gain.1
¡  Standards-...
¡  Greater access to recreational facilities and living in
environments where physical activity is part of the “built”
en...
¡  Education and prevention strategies
should be incorporated into the school
environment where both children and
adults ...
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Soraya Ghebleh - Strategies to Reduce Childhood Obesity

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This is a presentation from Soraya Ghebleh that looks at the problem of childhood obesity in America and offers potential policy and strategy solutions.

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Soraya Ghebleh - Strategies to Reduce Childhood Obesity

  1. 1. Soraya Ghebleh CHILDHOOD OBESITY IN AMERICA: STRATEGIES AND POLICY OPTIONS FOR PREVENTION AND REDUCTION
  2. 2. ¡  1 out of 3 children in the United States are overweight ¡  Rates of childhood obesity have tripled since the 1960s ¡  17% of children have a BMI over the 95th percentile ¡  Hospital costs associated with childhood obesity are upwards of $150 million a year ¡  Total costs of obesity, both child and adult, are estimated to be over $100 billion annually ¡  Children who are obese are more prone to develop high-risk diseases such as type II diabetes, elevated blood pressure, and other diseases that can be life threatening and lead to poor quality of life SCOPE OF THE PROBLEM
  3. 3. Conclusions and Priorities determined by the IOM INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE: PROGRESS REPORT While the country has responded to the obesity epidemic, the current level of investment does not match the scale of the problem Various entities are implementing programs, policies, and interventions, but researchers need to produce evidence- based approaches that will guide national action. Evaluation needs to occur at multiple levels and settings. This layered information will help guide improvements to childhood obesity efforts. Surveillance, monitoring, and research are all components of evaluation. Current evidence is not sufficient to complete a comprehensive assessment of the progress that the nation has made. Researchers should use best practices in the short term with the goal of developing a larger evidence base with which to develop initiatives that can be used in various settings. We need short term, intermediate, and long term evaluation in order to have a sustained improvement of the childhood obesity epidemic.
  4. 4. ¡  Lack of physical activity ¡  Improper diet ¡  Socioeconomic factors ¡  Education on healthy behaviors and diet is often minimal ¡  Marketing of unhealthy foods to children ¡  Sedentary lifestyles ¡  Built environment ¡  Cultural determinants ¡  Modeling of unhealthy habits ¡  Poor physical education education in schools CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO CHILDHOOD OBESITY
  5. 5. STRATEGIES Regulate Food Sales Encourage Healthy Behavior Education and Prevention
  6. 6. ¡  Studies and surveys have demonstrated that consumers support menu labeling, available nutrition information provided in restaurants is inadequate and insufficient, and menu labeling is consistent with requiring producers to disclose product information and any other potentially harmful facts about products. ¡  Eating outside of the house increases calorie intake and can lead to poorer nutrition and that fast-food consumption is associated with risk for poor nutrition and obesity. Citation: Roberto, C. A., M. B. Schwartz, et al. (2009). "Rationale and evidence for menu-labeling legislation." American journal of preventive medicine 37(6): 546-551. REGULATE FOOD SALES: MENU LABELING
  7. 7. ¡  Food stamps have the potential to result in excessive caloric intake and it has been suggested that food stamp recipients consume more sugar and fat than eligible non-recipients, indicating the need for a potential re-evaluation of the food stamp distribution method. Citation: Baum, C. L. (2011). "The effects of food stamps on obesity." Southern Economic Journal 77(3): 623-651. REGULATE FOOD SALES: RESTRICT FOOD STAMPS
  8. 8. ¡  Decreased access to foods leading to obesity and increased access to healthy foods may combat obesity.  ¡  Sugar-sweetened beverages are directly linked to excessive weight gain and reducing SSB consumption has been shown to reduce baseline body weight. Citations: de Ruyter, J. C., M. R. Olthof, et al. (2012). "Effect of sugar-sweetened beverages on body weight in children: design and baseline characteristics of the Double-blind, Randomized INtervention study in Kids." Contemporary Clinical Trials 33(1): 247-257. REGULATE FOOD SALES: REGULATE FOOD IN THE RETAIL ENVIRONMENT
  9. 9. ¡  Exposure to food environments and retail spaces that have poor-quality foods are associated with adolescent eating patterns and the propensity to become overweight. Limiting the proximity of fast-food restaurants to schools could help reduce adolescent obesity. Citations: Davis, B. and C. Carpenter (2009). "Proximity of fast-food restaurants to schools and adolescent obesity." Journal Information 99(3). REGULATE FOOD SALES: REGULATE LOCATION OF FAST FOOD RESTAURANTS
  10. 10. ¡  Schools are a consistent source of nutrition for most children regardless of their home environment and is a location that can be effectively utilized to provide children with nutritious food that does not lead to obesity or poor caloric intake.1 ¡  Changes to school food environments by removing sugar-sweetened beverages from school food stores and snack pars, improving a la carte choices, and reducing the frequency of offering french fries lead to improved dietary behaviors among children and adolescents.1 ¡  State mandates to require daily physical education and quality nutrition education in all primary and secondary schools can reduce obesity.2 Citations: 1. Briefel, R. R., M. K. Crepinsek, et al. (2009). "School food environments and practices affect dietary behaviors of US public school children." Journal of the American Dietetic Association 109 (2): S91-S107. 2. Hayne, C. L., P. A. Moran, et al. (2004). "Regulating environments to reduce obesity." Journal of Public Health Policy 25(3-4): 3-4. REGULATE FOOD SALES: REGULATE FOOD IN SCHOOLS
  11. 11. ¡  Despite the constitutional impediment of free speech, efforts can be made to reduce direct marketing of unhealthy foods to children and should be seriously considered in any policy approach that is interested in reducing obesity in children. ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR: RESTRICT/ CONTROL MARKETING TO CHILDREN
  12. 12. ¡  Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages and other food items that have high fat content can be done to deter unhealthy eating habits by means of economic disincentive. Citations: McGuinness, S. A. (2012). "Time to Cut the Fat: The Case for Government Anti-Obesity Legislation." JL & Health 25: 41. ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR: TAX CERTAIN FOODS
  13. 13. ¡  Increased access to healthy food in areas with higher poverty can reduce obesity and encourage healthy choices. Development of supermarkets in areas that only have convenience stores that do not carry healthy, fresh foods can improve outcomes for those neighborhoods.1 ¡  Obesity prevalence increases as food and vegetable consumption decreases with increasing distance to supermarkets in metropolitan areas suggesting that increased access to supermarkets that carry healthy foods can improve consumption of healthier foods.2 Citations: 1. DeMattia, L. and S. L. Denney (2008). "Childhood obesity prevention: successful community-based efforts." The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 615(1): 83-99. 2. Michimi, A. and M. C. Wimberly (2010). "Associations of supermarket accessibility with obesity and fruit and vegetable consumption in the conterminous United States." International Journal of Health Economics. ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR: TAX BREAKS FOR HEALTHY INITIATIVES
  14. 14. ¡  After-school programs can improve physical activity levels and contribute to reduction in weight gain.1 ¡  Standards-based reform in physical education must involve maximum physical activity of much more than 20 min of physical education per day and physical activity must involve more pedagogical training, involving goal setting and focused performance outcomes for given grade levels.2 Citations: 1. Beets, M. W., A. Beighle, et al. (2009). "After-school program impact on physical activity and fitness: a meta-analysis." American journal of preventive medicine 36(6): 527-537. 2. Erwin, H. E. and D. M. Castelli (2008). "National physical education standards: A summary of student performance and its correlates." Research quarterly for exercise and sport 79(4): 495-505. ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR: ENCOURAGE PHYSICAL EDUCATION
  15. 15. ¡  Greater access to recreational facilities and living in environments where physical activity is part of the “built” environment is associated with lower obesity rates. Citations: Salois, M. J. (2012). "Obesity and diabetes, the built environment, and the ‘local’food economy in the United States, 2007." Economics & Human Biology 10(1): 35-42. ENCOURAGE HEALTHY BEHAVIOR: BUILT ENVIRONMENT, “SMART GROWTH LAWS”
  16. 16. ¡  Education and prevention strategies should be incorporated into the school environment where both children and adults can benefit and be reached out to ¡  Education should also be a part of other interventions because it can ensure the success of interventions and improve outcomes if those participating have a higher level understanding EDUCATION AND PREVENTION

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