|For Immediate Release:
September 7, 2010
For more information, contact:
Kristina Gawrgy Campbell
NAEYC to elevate childhood obesity prevention at the
2010 Annual Conference & Expo
(Washington) – The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to elevate the issue of childhood obesity prevention within the early childhood education field and to engage local communities in prevention efforts.
The kick-off event for this project will take place during the 2010 Annual Conference & Expo in Anaheim, California, on Nov. 5. NAEYC has brought together a panel of experts who will provide key information about the alarming trend of childhood obesity, prevention strategies, and tools to bring communities together to turn the trend around. The panel of experts includes
- Geraldine Henchy, director of nutrition policy and early childhood programs at the Food and Research Action Center;
- Dianne Ward, professor of nutrition and co-director of the doctoral program in the Department of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, who led the team that developed a policy and environmental intervention for child care called the Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care;
- Jim Sallis, director of Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that supports research to examine how environments and policies influence active living for children and families, and professor at San Diego State University.
As part of the project, six NAEYC Affiliates in states with high obesity rates have also agreed to participate in promoting this issue at their own conferences and in their communities.
“NAEYC and our Affiliates are in an excellent position to activate community leadership to address childhood obesity and provide information and resources to early childhood educators and the children and families they serve,” said Jerlean E. Daniel, executive director of NAEYC.
Statistics show that childhood obesity has become an epidemic during the last several decades. One in five toddlers and preschoolers is now overweight or obese, and unless rates are reversed, the current generation of young people could be the first in this country’s history to live shorter, sicker lives than their parents’ generation. Childhood obesity is linked to a number of chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Obesity is most prevalent among lower-income and racial and ethnic minority groups.
Conferences are an important venue for early childhood professional development. Using both national and state level conferences, NAEYC and its Affiliates hope to spark additional, sustainable efforts to combat the childhood obesity epidemic in local communities.
NAEYC would like to thank Stonyfield Farm for their generous support in sponsoring this session.
Founded in 1926, the National Association for the Education of Young Children is the largest and most influential advocate for high-quality early care and education in the United States.