The prevalence of childhood obesity is so high in the United States that it may reduce the life expectancy of today's generation of children. While parents and other adult caregivers play a fundamental role in teaching children about healthy behaviors, even the most positive efforts can be undermined by local environments that are poorly suited to supporting healthy behaviors. For example, many communities lack ready sources of healthy food choices, such as supermarkets and grocery stores. Or they may not provide safe places for children to walk or play. In such communities, even the most motivated child or adolescent may find it difficult to act in healthy ways. Local governments—with jurisdiction over many aspects of land use, food marketing, community planning, transportation, health and nutrition programs, and other community issues—are ideally positioned to promote behaviors that will help children and adolescents reach and maintain healthy weights.
Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity presents a number of recommendations that touch on the vital role of government actions on all levels—federal, state, and local—in childhood obesity prevention. The book offers healthy eating and physical activity strategies for local governments to consider, making it an excellent resource for mayors, managers, commissioners, council members, county board members, and administrators.
Transportation Research Board, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council. 2009. Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12674.
|2 Acting Locally
|3 Creating Equal Opportunities for Healthy Weight
|4 Actions for Healthy Eating
|5 Actions for Increasing Physical Activity
|Appendix A: Glossary
|Appendix B: Toolkits and Related Resources
|Appendix C: Methodology
|Appendix D: Assessing the Evidence for Childhood Obesity Prevention Action Steps
|Appendix E: Statement of Task
|Appendix F: Open Session
|Appendix G: Biographical Sketches
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The video centers on the idea of “cross-sector work.” When considering the challenge of obesity in the U.S., this idea is of particular importance. There are many conflicting theories of what causes obesity, and many ideas of what solutions will work to solve it. There’s a lot of debate about what’s working, and if obesity rates are declining, increasing, or remaining stable. However, from communities where steady drops in obesity rates have been seen, cross-sector approaches to prevention have played a major role.
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