3401.0 Reducing Disparities: Focus on Obesity

Monday, November 5, 2007: 4:30 PM
The three-fold increase in child and adolescent obesity (BMI => 95th percentile) during the past two decades is a serious public health problem. Obesity is associated with type 2 diabetes (which has increased dramatically as obesity has become more prevalent), cardiovascular disease, cancer, sleep apnea, and other health conditions. Poor and race-ethnic minority individuals are disproportionately affected. This session will focus on ongoing strategies to prevent obesity and its associated health morbidity. First we will discuss efforts of public health departments to facilitate the lifestyle changes in nutrition and physical activity that will reduce or prevent overweight and obesity. Our next presentations will focus on health disparities associated with obesity and its related health conditions. First we will discuss a local policy data base for neighborhood factors that negatively impact healthy food choices and opportunities for physical activity. This will be followed by a discussion of an advocacy strategy to engage lawmakers in policy change to address the problem of obesity in African-American communities. Our next presentation will describe community efforts to address this problem Los Angeles County, where 50% of adults and 40% of children are overweight or obese. Finally, we will have a presentation on barriers to “walkability” in Albany New York, the state capital.
Session Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be better able to: • Articulate opportunities for public health departments to influence policy change in a variety of nutrition and physical activity settings including the public health department internal environment • List 3-5 concrete examples of local policies that help to reduce neighborhood disparities and improve eating and activity environments • Describe a model for addressing obesity at the local level in collaboration with national legislators, including successes and challenges with this model • Identify various methods to assess factors that contribute to decisions about diet, physical activity, and healthcare utilization • Understand standardized methods to objectively assess environmental characteristics related to walking

4:30 PM
Public health departments and obesity prevention: Current practices and policy opportunities
Liz Schwarte, MPH, Sarah Samuels, DrPH, George Flores, MD, MPH, Maria Boyle, MS, RD, Sarah Stone-Francisco, MPH, Julie Williamson, MPH and Bob Prentice, PhD
5:15 PM
Developing community-based strategies to reduce obesity and diabetes in East and South Los Angeles utilizing multiple methodological techniques
Valerie F. Ruelas, LCSW, Ellen Iverson, MPH, Mandy Graves, RD, MPH, Lucy Montoya, Anne Peters, MD, Francine Kaufman, MD and Michele Kipke, PhD

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Socialist Caucus, Epidemiology

CE Credits: CME, Health Education (CHES), Nursing