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Childhood Obesity Conference 2009 Highlights

Posted on Jun 15, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

I attended the Childhood Obesity Conference in Los Angeles, CA last week. There were over 1500 participants ranging from teachers, health care providers, pediatricians, government officials and kids health-related organizations. It was very inspiring to see all these individuals joined together with one commitment - to want to make a difference in fighting childhood obesity with a focus on prevention.

We had a booth and a poster presentation discussing the use of interactive media (websites, video games) to engage children and promote healthy eating in a fun, positive way. We talked with so many teachers and community leaders that were grateful for the work we have done and the resources we provide. I am starting my week on a real up note, feeling great about the work that we do and our contribution towards helping families learn about healthy eating and daily activity!

Here are some key highlights from the 4 day event:

  • the 3 and 4 year old children have the most significant growing obesity population
    • there was a significant amount of studies and presentations discussing strategies for targeting childcare providers to promote healthy eating habits and being active everyday
  • nutrition in schools is a key avenue that must be used to promote healthy lifestyles
    • strategies for schools discussed wellness policies, programs that have worked, eliminating junk food in schools through legislature, balanced healthy meals program, nutrition education and physical actvity programs
  • deceptive advertising to families and children and studies indicating the impact to unhealthy eating
    • legislature controlling food labeling and advertising directed at children, education that helps children identify these kind of advertisements
  • the role of health care providers
    • strategies discussed were BMI assessments, national registries, nutrition education during pediatric visits, causes and treatment of obesity
  • promoting physical activity to all kids
    • strategies included address parks and recreation areas accessibility, the use of video games that required the child to be active such as the wii system,
  • promoting healthy eating to families
    • strategies discussed including accessibility to fresh fruits and vegetables, health policies, designing health food systems, new WIC foods

booth display at the childhood obesity conference 2009

There was a lot going on and a great deal of discussions on areas that must be addressed if we are going to stop and reverse the current childhood obesity trend. But the one consistent message I heard over and over again was the importance of early nutrition education. Parents, you are the role models and the greatest influence on your child's life. We are here to support you with our free resources.

I want to say a special thank you to Michael, Elaine and Tony who helped me tremendously by attending sessions and manning our booth and poster session.


1 Comment

Doreen Bolhuis
Wednesday, Jun 17, 2009 @ 07:57 AM

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Hi! I am a Mom, Grandmother, and a physical and health educator. For more resources to prevent obesity, please visit my information web site: And, for health/wellness tips please visit my blog at Stay well, and keep moving! Doreen

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