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Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Obesity Start in Childhood, Making Early Intervention Essential
New Rochelle, NY, February 8, 2012— Disparities in obesity prevalence and risk factors are already evident in minority populations by the preschool years, emphasizing the need for early interventions to prevent and manage childhood obesity, according to an article in a special issue of the journal Childhood Obesity celebrating the second anniversary of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative. The issue includes a special Foreword by Mrs. Obama and is available free online.
“Are You Talking to ME? The Importance of Ethnicity and Culture in Childhood Obesity Prevention and Management,” an article by Michelle-Marie Peña, Brittany Dixon, and Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute, and Children's Hospital Boston, explores the reasons for this racial/ethnic variation in childhood obesity and the role that primary care medicine can play in providing culturally and linguistically appropriate care, family-based treatment programs, and support services to uncouple socioeconomic factors from adverse health outcomes.
This special Let’s Move! issue has a wide range of contributions from leaders in the fight against childhood obesity including Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, NFL quarterback Drew Brees, Stephen Daniels, MD, PhD, Sandra Hassink, MD, Margo Wootan, DSc, and Editor-in-Chief David Katz, MD, MPH.
The issue covers a broad range of topics including creating environments that support routine physical activity and a healthy lifestyle, after-school obesity prevention programs, nutrition standards for school meals, faith-based advocacy efforts to end childhood obesity, gaming and technology for weight control, parent training programs for 2-4 year old Latino children, the role of sleep in childhood obesity, a roundtable discussion about what we don’t know about childhood obesity, industry efforts to help children make healthy food choices, and success stories from the Let’s Move! initiative.
“Ultimately, the battle with childhood obesity will be won with feet and forks,” says David L. Katz, MD, MPH, Editor-in-Chief of Childhood Obesity and Director of Yale University's Prevention Research Center. “To empower good use of both, we must reach people with messages they understand, care about, and can put to use. That means messages that are culturally, ethnically, and personally relevant. Dr. Taveras and colleagues highlight the importance of this issue, and provide expert guidance so we can all be…better messengers!”
Childhood Obesity is partly funded by a grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to ensure that the Journal is accessible as widely as possible, and to provide a framework that addresses the social and environmental conditions that influence opportunities for children to have access to healthy, affordable food and safe places to play and be physically active.
Childhood Obesity is a bimonthly journal, published in print and online, and the journal of record for all aspects of communication on the broad spectrum of issues and strategies related to weight management and obesity prevention in children and adolescents. The Journal includes peer-reviewed articles documenting cutting-edge research and clinical studies, opinion pieces and roundtable discussions, profiles of successful programs and interventions, and updates on task force recommendations, global initiatives, and policy platforms. It reports on news and developments in science and medicine, features programs and initiatives developed in the public and private sector, and a Literature Watch. Tables of content and a free sample issue may be viewed online.
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