Nearly one in three American children are overweight or obese. But after decades of rising rates, we may be turning a corner on the health crisis. This 2013 Washington Post conference will highlight a continued sense of urgency to ease the epidemic as experts across fields gather to discuss strategies resulting in healthier children. Watch this page for updates from our live stream.
Welcome to our conference. Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation sets up the program, “The trend of childhood obesity has finally leveled off,” she says.
Up next on the livestream is Dr. Janet Collins, the director of the Centers for Disease Control’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. In hopes of providing national guidance, that division uses policy, epidemiological and behavioral research, education and communication in its approach to obesity prevention.
“When we look at the data, what is inspiring the health care costs, there’s no question that obesity is a dire issue,” she says. Collins highlights success across the country, in schools as well as in breast-feeding pushes and more playable and walkable infrastructure.
Drop is first after decades of rising rates, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Washington Post politics reporter Chris Cillizza who writes “The Fix” and co-hosts the newly debuted PostTV show In-Play is moderating this next panel. The two politicos discussing childhood obesity are Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), and Republican Sheila Burke, the former chief of staff to Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) who now serves on the Bipartisan Policy Center board of directors.
“It has to do with the politics,” says DeLauro.
How much of driving progress is the administration and how much is industry? Burke says she wouldn’t say one mattered more than the other. ‘It ‘s public pressures on industries to behave a certain way, and government.”
The third ingredient according to DeLauro is the public. “People are much more conscious than they were. There’s a much heightened awareness.”
Sheila Burke states "We need to prepare kids to be prepared to learn". Healthy school meals are vital. #childhoodobesity
White House Let’s Move executive director Sam Kass, former Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and Wal-Mart director of food agriculture Tres Bailey are up on our live stream now talking private and public strategies to raise healthier children.
“There’s no magic bullet,” Kass says, “There are a lot of barriers [to curbing the childhood obesity crisis]. Business is bottom lines. That is a real issue for them, and consumers are used to choosing.”
Benjamin says, “We have to put the joy back into being healthy. Good food doesn’t have to taste bad.”
Regina Benjamin: Health occurs not only in doctors' offices; it happens everywhere we are -- home, work, play, etc. #childhoodobesity
On Wal-Mart's initiative on reducing sodium with its bread suppliers: "We’ve been able to reduce that 35%." #childhoodobesity
“What we found is that we can be a catalyst to drive more of this innovation,” says Wal-Mart food and agriculture director Tres Bailey on the childhood obesity health crisis.
The next step? “Change the conversation from sickness and disease to wellness and prevention,” says former Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin.
“I think the point about being positive is really critical, and I think the point about starting early is important,” says the White House’s Sam Kass.
“This is big,” says Sam Kass of the White House, referring to new USDA regulations on snacks and a la carte menu items in schools. “The question is how do we instill and inspire our kids.”