Summit to be held at UNCW about childhood obesity
September 27, 2010
by Vicky Eckenrode
Wilmington Star News
Obesity, in particular among children and teens, has become a major topic this year.
Bolstered by attention from the White House and alarming statistics about the declining health of more children, the issue appears to have captured the attention of medical and public health officials.
“Despite advances in medicine, the current generation of children may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents,” State Health Director Jeff Engel said in a statement. “We are committed to doing everything we can to reverse that trend.”
Health, education and community representatives will meet Oct. 5 for a childhood obesity summit at UNCW to address the issue.
Bill Graham, chairman of the Cape Fear Health Policy Council, said organizers drew heavily on the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity’s report released earlier this year.
The Cape Fear Region Childhood Obesity Summit will take place at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Warwick Center.
The event is intended to bring together health and fitness professionals, doctors, nurses, dietitians, psychologists, counselors, social workers, child care providers, school personnel, city and county officials and parents to discuss the issue of childhood obesity.
In North Carolina, 18.6 percent of teens 10-17 were obese, making the state 11th in the nation, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health. That was one statistic why the group Trust for America's Health named North Carolina the 10th-most obese state in the country in a report this summer.
One out of three children in the Cape Fear region is overweight or obese, according to the health policy council, which made children’s health and fitness its priority project for this year.
The summit grew out of community meetings that convinced organizers a grassroots effort was needed to try and address the myriad of risk factors influencing childhood obesity.
Earlier this week, I wrote about a group of young people whose daily physical activity was being monitored so that researchers could attempt to see whether interventions that have become popular – new bike trails, community gardens – are actually helping change lifestyles.
The upcoming summit also is intended to become an annual event to measure progress and see if the community is becoming healthier.
The event Oct. 5, scheduled for 6-8:30 p.m., is free unless participants want to get professional continuing education credits for attending. Then there is a $10 fee.
To register or for more information, go to www.seahec.net.
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