The remarkable increase in the prevalence of obesity among children and youth in the United States over a relatively short timespan represents one of the defining public health challenges of the 21st century. The country is beginning to recognize childhood obesity as a major public health epidemic that will incur substantial costs to the nation. However, the current level of investment by the public and private sectors still does not match the extent of the problem. There is a substantial underinvestment of resources to adequately address the scope of this obesity crisis.
At this early phase in addressing the epidemic, actions have begun on a number of levels to improve the dietary patterns and to increase the physical activity levels of young people. Schools, corporations, youth-related organizations, families, communities, foundations, and government agencies are working to implement a variety of policy changes, new programs, and other interventions. These efforts, however, generally remain fragmented and small in scale.
Moreover, the lack of systematic monitoring and evaluation of interventions have hindered the development of an evidence base to identify, apply, and disseminate lessons learned and to support promising efforts to prevent childhood obesity.
Progress in Preventing Childhood Obesity: How Do We Measure Up? examines the progress made by obesity prevention initiatives in the United States from 2004 to 2006. This book emphasizes a call to action for key stakeholders and sectors to commit to and demonstrate leadership in childhood obesity prevention, evaluates all policies and programs, monitors their progress, and encourages stakeholders to widely disseminate promising practices. This book will be of interest to federal, state, and local government agencies educators and schools public health and health care professionals private-sector companies and industry trade groups media parents and those involved in implementing community-based programs and consumer advocacy