City of Hope faculty and staff recently showed members of Congress how they are using the power of education to fight the childhood obesity epidemic.
|A participant in Eat, Move, Live samples a healthy meal. (Photo by p.cunningham)|
Kimlin Tam Ashing-Giwa, Ph.D., professor and founding director of City of Hope’s Center of Community Alliance for Research and Education (CCARE), presented at the Sept. 10 “Childhood Obesity: A Call to Action” summit. The meeting at the University of Southern California united members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Black Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to discuss obesity among racial and ethnic minority children.
Obesity is increasing dramatically in the U.S., tripling among children and doubling among adults since 1999. Nearly one in three children is overweight or obese. Obesity is particularly prevalent among Latinos and Pacific Islanders. In Los Angeles County, more than half of Latinos report minimal to no physical activity and fail to meet the recommended weekly physical activity guidelines, Ashing-Giwa explained.
“The prevention of childhood obesity has become a grave concern for all stakeholders: community members, parents, schools, public health departments, health organizations and policymakers alike,” she said.
Ashing-Giwa was among several researchers and advocates to discuss innovative community-participatory strategies that address childhood obesity. She shared information about CCARE’s success with its Eat, Move, Live program, a school-based intervention that gets the community involved to reduce the risk of obesity and chronic diseases among children and families.
Eat, Move, Live promotes healthy lifestyle through nutrition education and food and physical activity demonstration in a way that is culturally relevant to local community members. Begun in 2007, it is a partnership with the city of Duarte and the Duarte Unified School District.
“To date we’ve conducted four sessions focused on children and five sessions for adults,” said Mayra Serrano, community interventionist. “We’ve demonstrated successes in increased knowledge about healthful eating, consumption of fruits and vegetables and improved skills at healthy cooking and fun physical activity.”
The next adult class is on Nov. 9 at Beardslee Elementary School in Duarte. For information on Eat, Move, Live, contact Serrano at ext. 64721 or email@example.com.
The summit included presentations by Reps. Donna Christensen, Michael Honda, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Diane E. Watson, Judy Chu and Grace Napolitano.