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Policy Solutions, Systems and Environmental Changes Continue as Top Priorities to Combat the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

The 2019 Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference was held last month. Read on for takeaways and to learn about Voices for Healthy Kids’ involvement.


The prevalence of obesity in children and adolescents between the ages of 2 and 19 years old is still too high. That’s according to the Center for Disease Prevention and Promotion, which reports that 18.5% of young people in that age range live with obesity. That percentage translates to nearly 14 million kids.

That’s why 2,000 professionals and advocates dedicated to helping kids achieve a healthy weight descended on the 2019 Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference. Their mission – to share, learn and discuss emerging research, best practices, community-based efforts and effective policy strategies that promote and sustain healthy eating and physical activity practices for children, adolescents and families. They addressed topics like state interference (also known as preemption), early childcare, nutrition, community design, poverty, school health and wellness policies, active transportation, healthy beverages and youth advocacy.

Voices for Healthy Kids focused on sharing current advocacy and policy strategy related to state interference and reducing consumption of sugary drinks. This is important because when states interfere with local democracy it can hurt the health and well-being of our families, friends and neighbors.

Voices for Healthy Kids sponsored the summit and several Strategic Advisory Committee members attended, including: Center for Science in the Public Interest, Changelab Solutions, The Praxis Project, Nemours Children’s Health System, Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Healthy Eating Research, and the Physical Activity Research Center. Additionally, a team of American Heart Association interns canvassed the expo hall encouraging meeting participants to join the National Preemption Campaign.