Researchers Urge Change in Health Policies, Food Marketing Practices to Combat Childhood Obesity
From September 2000 through December 2003, the American Public Health Association (APHA) convened an advisory group to develop a national action plan to reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight in children in the United States.
Working from the action plan, project staff accomplished the following:
- Convened a summit meeting of 35 national leaders in the field on October 16, 2002, in Washington, D.C. to discuss how APHA can combat childhood obesity.
- Prepared two policy statements:
- "Food Marketing and Advertising Directed at Children and Adolescents: Implications for Overweight" identifies television advertising and in-school marketing as two prevalent forms of marketing to children foods that are high in sugar and fat.
- "Support for WIC and Child Nutrition Programs" states that the federally funded Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Child Nutrition Programs (National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Child and Adult Care Feeding Program, Summer Food Service Program and the Special Milk Program) provide foods that support optimal nutrition and can potentially reduce the epidemic of childhood overweight by promoting healthy eating.
- Developed a toolkit which provides basic information for parents, teachers, students and community leaders to prevent and control childhood overweight and obesity.