NIEHS press conference for the environmental solutions to obesity in America's youth conference


What: Conference for NIEHS Environmental Solutions to Obesity in America's Youth conference.

When: Wednesday, June 1, 10:15 a.m. (immediately following opening remarks).

Where: Washington Convention Center, Room 203 A/B
801 Mount Vernon Place, NW
Washington, DC 20001

Attendees (Available for Q and A): The Honorable Mike Leavitt, Secretary, Department of Health and Human Services
U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Dr. Richard H. Carmona
Dr. David Schwartz, Director, NIEHS
Lynn Swann, Chair, President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports

Why: National and community leaders will join researchers to sort out how a child's environment increases the risk for obesity and to identify ways the environment can be changed to address this health epidemic. More than 700 people will gather for a two-day conference, "Environmental Solutions to Obesity in America's Youth," sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Background: The NIEHS is working to determine how the environment affects obesity rates and how it can build upon promising programs that create safe, healthy communities that help kids make better choices and have active lifestyles. In the last three decades, obesity has doubled among preschoolers and adolescents and tripled among kids between the ages of 6 and 11.

Conference Highlights: Government and community leaders will share their success stories. Speakers from such organizations as Latino Health Access and California Adolescent Nutrition and Fitness will discuss how they developed culturally appropriate environmental solutions to obesity in minority communities.

Representatives from Florida, Massachusetts, and North Carolina transportation organizations will discuss how they improved children's health by making walking and bicycling to school safer, easier and more enjoyable.

Researchers from the National Center for Smart Growth, Louisiana State University, and Emory University will share their research and insights on how to effectively find and assess the connection between the environment and obesity.

Industry will also be part of the discussion. Sesame Street will join a panel discussion with Pepsico, Sony Computer Entertainment, Stonyfield Farm, child advocacy organization Children Now, youth fitness program Girls on the Run, and child health experts on the role industry and media can play in lowering childhood obesity rates.

Youth exercise and dance programs, including the Fabulous Steppers from Fort Belvoir, VA, will be featured at the evening reception. New videogame-based exercise programs from Sony and Powergrid Fitness will also be demonstrated.

Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee will be the closing keynote speaker.

Registration: Members of the press interested in conducting interviews with any of the speakers, please contact Jennifer Browne (919) 541-7848 or Ann Gordon at (202) 842-3600. Details about the meeting, including the agenda, are posted on the Conference website.

Directions: The Washington Convention Center is located between 7th and 9th Streets and N Street and Mt. Vernon Place in downtown DC, right across from the new City Museum. It is served by Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), Dulles International Airport (IAD) and Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI). It is accessible by Metro's Yellow and Green lines.

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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