Reversing Trends: Where there’s a Will, There’s a Way
Dallas, TX, Aug. 20, 2013 – American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments on behalf of Voices for Healthy Kids on the recently released F as in Fat report by Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation that recommends key policy strategies to reverse obesity.
“Progress is possible. The annual national report that looks at how we are progressing in reversing obesity trends shows a nod in the right direction this year. We are nowhere near success, but it looks like we are finally stalling the rise in obesity rates. This is being accomplished by hundreds of cities and dozens of states making a commitment to the health of their communities. Many community leaders choose to make healthy options more affordable and closer to families that need it the most. We encourage more leaders to join in and create healthier places for families to live and play together.
This report outlines several recommendations to move the needle in the right direction and we are focusing our efforts on those strategies that will impact children the most. To make sure families have access to healthy foods and beverages, we encourage cities and states to support grocery stores and corner stores in low-income communities to provide healthy options. Community leaders can also help families be more active by building safer places to play and increasing ways to walk, bike or use other modes of active transport to go from place to place in their communities. School leadership can work with their community leaders to open up school yards after hours and share recreational spaces with students and families. Schools have made tremendous improvements to meals, and will soon be implementing rigorous new standards for competitive foods offered throughout the school environment such as a la carte lines or in vending machines or school stores. Community leaders and schools can help children and families reduce their sugar intake by encouraging water and low-fat milk as primary beverages.
Voices for Healthy Kids is committed to seeing these strategies taken to scale across the nation in communities with health disparities. With strong community leadership and parents committed to raising healthy kids, we can see the trends in obesity reversed. It takes a great amount of willpower to create a culture of health throughout each community, but where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Voices for Healthy Kids is a national advocacy initiative focused on uniting the movement to prevent childhood obesity. A collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and American Heart Association, the initiative seeks to help reverse the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by 2015 by ensuring children have access to healthy foods and beverages, as well as safe opportunities for physical activity. Learn more about the childhood obesity epidemic and how you can help turn it around at www.voicesforhealthykids.org.
Media Contact: Suzette Harris, 214-706-1207