More than 350 individuals, including community leaders, health educators, teachers, health care providers, school nurses, food service providers, PE teachers, dietitians, and parents attended the Obesity Prevention Summit in New Jersey, “The State of the State: Important Next Steps.” Held on December 11, 2012, the one-day educational event was co-sponsored by the New Jersey Partnership for Healthy Kids (NJPHK), the Office of Nutrition and Fitness, The NJ Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health and Family and Community Health Sciences at the Rutgers Cooperative Extension.
Conference speakers discussed recommendations, strategies, and actions that should be implemented in the short term to accelerate progress in obesity prevention over the next 10 years.
Dr. Terry T-K Huang, senior advisor for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Obesity Research Task Force, served as the keynote speaker for the morning events and discussed how to apply systems thinking to obesity prevention. In addition to his role at NIH, Dr. Huang serves as Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Promotion, Social and Behavioral Health at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He has conducted a great deal of research in the areas of pediatric obesity, metabolic syndrome, fetal and early childhood nutrition, and risks for obesity and chronic diseases.
Dr. Marlene Schwartz, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, addressed the group during the afternoon session and discussed the impact of advertising on childhood obesity. She is an expert on how home environments, communities, and school landscapes shape the eating attitudes and behaviors of children.
Four concurrent workshops were held on topics related to: School Wellness, Worksite Wellness, Building Healthy Communities and Addressing Obesity in Early Care and Education.
Dietitians, teachers/school personnel, American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences members, and public health professionals who participated in the conference were eligible to receive continuing education credits. Photos below show attendees participating in the afternoon’s physical activity break.