According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2008, 18.5 percent of Hispanic children were obese compared to 12.6 percent of white children and 11.8 percent of African American children and the National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) is bringing experts to Congress to discuss strategies that work to reduce this rate amongst Hispanic children.
The NHMA is convening a Congressional Briefing, “Prevention Policies & Programs to Reduce Obesity among Hispanic Children” today to help change these statistics. One of the speakers, Dr. Shale Wong from the First Lady’s Office said, “We commend NHMA for organizing this Congressional briefing which showcases policies and programs to help reduce obesity among Hispanic Children and thus contributes to ending the wider childhood obesity epidemic, the goal of the First Lady’s Let’s Move Campaign.” Other speakers include Rajen Anand, DVM, PhD, Executive Director, Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cecilia Pozo Fileti, MS, RD, Director, Latino Infant Nutrition Initiative, Eduardo Sanchez, MD, MPH, Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, Health Care Service Corporation, and Ana Garcia, MPA, Senior Policy Associate, New York Academy of Medicine.
The good news is that there has been growing attention in Washington, DC to reducing child obesity. The Affordable Care Act, passed in March, will support major prevention programs to transform communities to reduce obesity. This summer, Congressman Joe Baca (D-CA) introduced the Healthy Children through School Nutrition Education Act to add nutrition education to school lunch programs and the Physical Education to Create a Healthier Nation Act for public schools to have minimum physical education time.
This week Congress will be voting on The Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that includes many significant improvements over current law including updated nutrition standards for all foods and beverages sold in schools, increased lunch reimbursements to include fresh produce, training to help schools serve healthier meals, expansion of afterschool meals and enrolling more low-income children for free meals. Most low income communities have limited resources that result in families eating foods high in calories, low in nutrition and contributing to the growing obesity epidemic.
The National Hispanic Medical Association is a non-profit organization in Washington, DC with the mission to empower Hispanic physicians to lead efforts to improve health of Hispanic populations in collaboration with public and private sector partners.
Read more at National HIspanic Medical Association →