Obesity rate for young children plummets 43 percent in a decade

Feb. 25, 2014, The New York Times

By Sabrina Tavernise

Federal health authorities on Feb. 25 reported a 43 percent drop in the obesity rate among 2- to 5-year-old children over the past decade, the first broad decline in an epidemic that often leads to lifelong struggles with weight and higher risks for cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

The drop emerged from a major federal health survey that experts say is the gold standard for evidence on what Americans weigh. The trend came as a welcome surprise to researchers. New evidence has shown that obesity takes hold young: Children who are overweight or obese at ages 3 to 5 years are five times as likely to be overweight or obese as adults. Continue reading

IOM to host public workshop on obesity solutions

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) Roundtable on Obesity Solutions is inviting the public to attend its first workshop, “The Current State of Obesity Solutions in the United States.”

Tues., Jan. 7, 2014
12:30-5:30 p.m.
The National Academies Building
2101 Constitution Ave., NW
Washington, DC

The workshop will present a status update on the current epidemiology of obesity and explore the prevalence, trends, severity, and disparities across the United States. Workshop presenters will discuss key settings where change is happening, focusing on nutrition, physical activity, the elimination of health disparities, and next steps. Continue reading

Most people use calorie information at fast food restaurants, when they read it

Nov. 22, 2013, Journal of Public Health

According to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) adults who read calorie information when it is available at fast food and chain restaurants tend to use the information when purchasing food. The authors, including Heidi Blanck, chief of CDC’s Obesity Prevention and Control Branch and member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research, found that 95.4 percent of those who read calorie information used it at least sometimes when making their food choices. The study was published online this week in the Journal of Public Health. Continue reading

NCCOR Envision member discusses the effectiveness of childhood obesity interventions

As part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Seminar Series, Steven Gortmaker, a professor for the Harvard School of Public Health and member of the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research Envision project, is presenting findings from a series of papers examining the cost-effectiveness of four childhood obesity interventions.

The discussion will focus on The Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) Project. This project is a collaboration between the Harvard School of Public Health, Columbia University, and research partners at Deakin and Queensland University in Australia. Over several years the CHOICES Research Team is assessing the cost-effectiveness of approximately 40 interventions aimed at reducing childhood obesity, including policy changes, programs, and interventions that have been identified as being effective, promising, or prevalent. Continue reading

CDC releases new guide for collecting body mass index measurements

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) recently released two new resources for health care providers called the “HL7 Height and Weight Report Implementation Guide” and the “IHE Quality, Research and Public Health Technical Framework Supplement for Healthy Weight.” The tools are designed to help practitioners transmit body mass index (BMI) data from electronic health record systems (EHRs) to public health surveillance systems so it can be used to assess progress in the fight against the childhood obesity epidemic.

Currently the process of capturing and communicating BMI data from provider offices to state health departments is largely inefficient and insufficient as it often requires the provider to enter data into more than one system or requires the development of custom databases. These limitations make it very difficult for agencies, communities, and states to evaluate progress in their childhood obesity prevention efforts. Continue reading

New funding opportunity from NIH/CDC for small business to create tools to collect health metrics

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently released a funding opportunity for small businesses to develop user-friendly tools facilitating the construction of environmental metrics related to the determinants: health behaviors and health care. Such metrics are gaining wider use in the research literature, notably in the development of indices of the food and physical activity environments and in quantifying access to cancer-related health resources.

The grant is funded through the NIH/CDC Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) mechanism. The SBIR program provides support for research and development (R&D) of new or improved technologies and methodologies that have the potential to succeed as commercial products. The program consists of the following three phases: Continue reading

Study shows elementary and middle schools can get students moving, not just thinking

Aug. 8, 2013, Medical Xpress

Despite widespread cuts to physical education classes and recess, an Indiana University study has shown that schools can play an important role in helping their students live healthier lives. Schools that implemented coordinated school health programs saw increases in students’ physical activity.

“With support from teachers, administrators, and parents, our schools can become healthier places,” said Mindy Hightower King, evaluation manager at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) at IU Bloomington. “Despite budget cuts and increasing emphasis on academic skills, schools are choosing to focus on improving student health, which ultimately can support improved academic performance.”

The findings involved 1,100 students from eight southern Indiana elementary and middle schools. Students who attended the schools that most thoroughly implemented HEROES, a program based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s coordinated school health model, were more likely to increase their physical activity levels. HEROES is designed to enhance schoolwide wellness through changes in physical education, nutrition, health promotion efforts for school staff and family, and community involvement. Continue reading

Obesity rates decline among low-income preschoolers after rising for decades

Aug. 6, 2013, The Washington Post

By Lena H. Sun

After decades of rising, obesity rates among low-income U.S. preschoolers declined broadly from 2008-2011, according to a federal report released Aug. 6 that offered the first glimpse of good news for children considered among the most vulnerable to the disease’s health risks.

While other, smaller studies have cited drops among school-age children, the data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) represent by far the largest and most comprehensive report of declining obesity rates in poor children, officials said. Continue reading

CDC telebriefing discusses declining obesity rates among low-income preschoolers

What:
After decades of rising rates, there are signs of progress in the fight against childhood obesity. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will discuss state-by-state obesity rates among low-income preschoolers, where progress is being made, and what can be done to continue this progress.

Who:
Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H., Director, CDC

When:
Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Noon ET

Dial-In:
888-795-0855

Important Instructions: 
If you would like to ask a question during the call, press *1 on your touchtone phone. Press *2 to withdraw your question. You may queue up at any time. You will hear a tone to indicate your question is pending.

Transcript:
A transcript of this media availability will be available following the briefing at CDC’s web site www.cdc.gov/media.

 

Report: Ubiquity of healthy food directly tied to obesity rates

July 18, 2013, City Beat

By Hannah McCartney

A report conducted by researchers at East Carolina University in North Carolina, released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), sheds some interesting light on patterns in the availability of healthy food in different geographic regions and concludes that amping up corner stores that traditionally peddle junk food could be key in improving public health and national obesity rates.

The study focused heavily on the availability of healthy foods such as fresh produce in corner stores across the state in urban, suburban, and rural areas. The findings suggest that there are higher rates of obesity in rural areas of the United States than in urban or suburban areas, speculating that because rural residents tend to live farther from supermarkets, they may rely more on junk food from corner stores (like gas stations) or fast food. Where rural areas did have healthy food available, it tended to be of lower quality than other more populated areas. Continue reading