Nearly one third of Pennsylvania’s children are overweight or obese. The rates have tripled in the last 30 years. These children will suffer from many chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, and heart disease as a result. Lifestyles have drastically changed since decades ago; instead of walking to school or playing outside, kids are riding to school and have much more screen time. Instead of home-cooked meals, families are relying on more fast foods and snacks to accommodate their busy lifestyles. Even the types and portion sizes of the foods and beverages families consume have changed.
Childhood obesity is one of Penn State Extension’s Program Priority Initiatives. To reverse this trend, it takes a comprehensive effort to help families, communities, and schools work together and make changes to live healthier. We propose to join with First Lady, Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative by offering a Let’s Move! Pennsylvania conference to assist Pennsylvanians with solving the challenge of childhood obesity so children that are born today will grow up healthier, be able to pursue their dreams, and become adults who contribute positively to society.
About the Conference
Conference goals include:
- Present the latest research findings from Penn State University that impact this issue
- Showcase best practices from Pennsylvania communities
- Encourage partnerships that enable individuals and communities to utilize best practices to contribute to policy change that makes an impact on this issue
Target audience includes school and education personnel, early childhood professionals, community leaders and policy makers, urban and rural community planners, public health professionals, and volunteers and professionals working with families.
Invited speakers include researchers from Penn State and other universities that are investigating issues related to childhood obesity, community leaders from Pennsylvania cities and counties who have been successful in making a difference in their communities, schools that have implemented policy changes, and community partnerships that have created excellent examples of improved environments in the areas of food and beverage and physical activity.