Childhood obesity rates too high, more progress needed

Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO, comments on new data showing childhood obesity and challenges leaders to double down on investments

September 19, 2017 Categories: Advisories & Comments

DALLAS, TX September 19, 2017 — The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary health organization devoted to fighting cardiovascular disease and stroke, works to make each day healthier for all children through advocacy and education that improve nutrition and increase physical activity throughout a child’s day. Nancy Brown, American Heart Association CEO, comments on the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH) released today.

“Community leaders in every state must remain vigilant in making progress for the sake of our children’s health. While there are glimpses of progress in some states based on the new National Survey of Children’s Health, the fact remains that 3 out of 10 children ages 10-17 are either overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk of developing lifelong chronic diseases. Continuing to improve access to healthy, affordable foods throughout every child’s day is critical to heart health. As a nation, our work to improve nutrition and physical activity begins in early child care, every school and neighborhood. Recent data shows that children as young as 11 from socially and economically disadvantaged families and neighborhoods appear more likely to have thicker carotid artery walls, which in adults may indicate higher risk for heart attack and stroke in later life. Elected officials at every level of government should consider this a call to action for doubling down on investments in better nutrition and physical activity starting in the earliest years of life.”

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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

About the American Stroke Association

The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke — the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.

For Media Inquiries: (214) 706-1173

Suzanne.Grant@heart.org, (214) 706-1207

For Public Inquiries: (800) AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org