The Washington Post

Donald Schwarz

At Washington Post Live's 2013 Childhood Obesity Summit, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and Philadelphia health commissioner Donald Schwarz discuss advertising and signage in their city aimed at providing better information about making healthy decisions. (The Washington Post)

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. Experts across fields gathered at Washington Post Live’s 2013 Childhood Obesity Summit to discuss strategies resulting in healthier children.

Donald Schwarz, Philadelphia health commissioner

We can’t just say to people, “Change your behavior.” We have to change the environment. Government has a role fundamentally in setting out an environment that’s healthier for living, and then we have to make people aware of the issues. In Philadelphia in particular, we’ve targeted the issues of diabetes and sugar consumption for children. Sugary beverage consumption in particular. We’ve been able to put up signs that let people know, for instance, how many calories are in drinks and how much exercise you have to do. You have to dance 65 minutes if you want to drink this soda. You have to walk two hours for this sweet tea. We have 650 corner stores that are part of a network that are displaying these signs.


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