Public Policy Forum Addresses Childhood Obesity Epidemic

Childhood obesity has doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 17% of children and adolescents age 2-19 are obese.

The Department of Public Policy, Hilltop Institute, Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, and The Annie E. Casey Foundation sponsored “The Public Policy Implications of Reducing Childhood Obesity”, a conference that was held in downtown Baltimore Friday, October 18, 2013.

Several panelists took part in a discussion about the growing epidemic of childhood obesity and possible solutions for the problem.

Public Policy Professor Adele Kirk laid out statistics that showed nearly 1 in 6 children are obese, and although there have been recent signs of progress, she said there is still plenty of work to be done.

“These levels remain extremely high and they don’t appear to be going down rapidly, if at all,” Kirk said. “The stakes are high.”

The panelists, which included Public Policy Professor Adele Kirk, University of Iowa Economics Professor David Frisvold, Maryland Deputy Secretary for Public Health Laura Herrera, and Baltimore City Commissioner of Health Oxiris Barbot, all provided insight on childhood obesity and the challenges that lie ahead in confronting the problem.

The Department of Public Policy Forum was held in downtown Baltimore at the World Trade Center building.

This post originally appeared in UMBC Insights.

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