How Can Government Fight Childhood Obesity?

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We call it the Childhood Obesity Initiative. Something we are very very proud of, in San Diego, because it shows that if we, the people and the community, all come together, we can make change happen. [MUSIC] It's bringing in breakfast in the classroom, where a child does not go hungry.

Getting involved with master planing health, and all, policies. Talking with cities and talking about why aren't children walking to, what are the safety concerns? And in some cases we help build outside walks so children can become more active, and walk to school. It was working with the tens of thousands of parents who are on public assistance for food, and as they come in for that, Giving them education.

Helping them think about culturally appropriate foods that are healthy. When we were thinking of obesity, we were thinking that it was a medical care, a health care, a public health dilemma, when in fact it was societal dilemma. So we took a step back, and the leadership here in San Diego said, we gotta look at this differently.

We have to look at this across all sectors and industries. We have to look at this from an ecological framework. Putting the child and the family in the middle. And then, who are those entities and people surrounding those families? Neighborhood schools and so forth. And how do we bring them in? And how do they all have a role aligning the right messaging, the right policies, the right services? This is difficult work long term.

And over the course of nearly a decade with that type of strategic alignment, that type of focus, the inclusiveness of all these different industry sectors, we're proud to say that we reduced childhood obesity by the rate of 3.7% from the year 2005-2010. We still need to reduce even further.

But we were one of the best reductions of a county. Where other areas in the country actually showed a rise still, of childhood obesity. Every imaginable access point, for children, is saturating, with the community, the right messaging. And the support and then continuously being there and sustaining that effort, that has really shown the results for us.

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