SOURCE: Save the Children

June 09, 2008 08:30 ET

Childhood Obesity Epidemic in U.S. to Be Focus of Capitol Hill Panel on Wednesday, June 11, at 4 PM EDT

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - June 9, 2008) - Save the Children will sponsor a panel briefing on the growing U.S. childhood obesity epidemic on Wednesday, June 11 at 4 p.m. EDT at 122 Cannon House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

Panelists will define the magnitude and extent of the U.S. childhood obesity problem and special obesity-related risks for poor rural populations, such as those served by Save the Children's U.S. Programs. Panelists will also discuss H.R. 2677, the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act, which addresses childhood obesity.

Background: Since 1980, obesity rates in the U.S. have more than tripled for children ages 2-5 and quadrupled for children ages 6-11. Pediatricians report an unprecedented number of cases of adverse health effects such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, painful joints and Type 2 diabetes. H.R. 2677, the Improved Nutrition and Physical Activity (IMPACT) Act of 2007, was introduced last year by Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA), Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Rep. Jim Ramstad (R-MN). The bill would address this growing problem by establishing a reliable funding stream for U.S childhood obesity prevention that encourages community partnerships.

Panel Moderator:

Susan Blumenthal, former U.S. Assistant Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services; Chair, Save the Children's CHANGE National Advisory Council

Panelists:

--  Eduardo J. Sanchez, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Blue
    Cross and Blue Shield of Texas
    
--  Taryn Nader, Legislative Assistant, Office of Congresswoman Mary Bono
    Mack (R-CA)
    
--  Christina Economos, Assistant Professor, New Balance Chair in
    Childhood Nutrition, Gerald J. and Dorothy Friedman, School of Nutrition
    Science and Policy, Tufts University
    

Save the Children is the leading independent organization creating lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Save the Children USA is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, a global network of 28 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries. For more information, visit www.savethechildren.org.

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