251496 Obesity Prevention Policies for Young Children

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 9:10 AM

Debra Haire-Joshu, PhD , Department of Public Health, Washington University at St. Louis, St. Louis, MO
Leann L. Birch, PhD , Center for Childhood Obesity Research, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
Evidence indicates that excessive weight gain in the first years of life can alter developing neural, metabolic and behavioral systems in ways that increase the risk for obesity and chronic disease later in life. Relative to work with other age groups, limited attempts are being made to prevent obesity during the first years of life, even though this period may represent the best opportunity to prevent obesity. During infancy and early childhood, behaviors that promote obesity are already being learned, and it is easier to establish new and better ones then than to change existing ones later on. A number of key factors influence obesity risk in an infant and child, and young children are dependent on parents, caregivers, and others to provide environments that support the development of lifestyle behaviors that promote growth and development, environments in which healthy foods are available in appropriate amounts, and environments that are safe and encouraging places for active play. This speaker will highlight the recommendations of the IOM report on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies, with a focus on nutrition, physical activity, and sedentary behavior in young children from birth to 5 years old.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Discuss key actions, rationales, and actors in the implementation of early childhood obesity prevention policies.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I was a member of the IOM consensus committee that authored this report.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.