Hi, I’m Dr. Jennifer DiNallo, Research and Evaluation Specialist here at the Penn State Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness. My background is in exercise psychology and I just want to thank you for joining us today for this presentation. So let’s begin.
Before getting started I’d like to acknowledge my colleagues here at the Clearinghouse for their support in the development of this podcast.
Today, I'll be introducing the Resource Center for the Prevention of Child Obesity. The Resource Center is housed within the interactive web platform of the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness.
Addressing the obesity epidemic and associated health problems have been a major focus of public health professionals over the last decade. Obesity has been identified by Healthy People 2010 as a leading health indicator. Because obese children are at an increased risk of becoming obese adults, there has been a call to arms to combat obesity and reduce the proportion of children and adolescents who are overweight and obese; however, little progress towards this target goal has been made.
Data provided by the Centers for Disease Control illustrate the increase in the prevalence of obesity that has occurred since the mid-1960s. That is, among preschool children ages two to five years old the prevalence of obesity has increased from five percent to over ten percent between the 1970s and 2008. For children six to eleven years old, you can see here that the prevalence of obesity has increased from about six percent to almost twenty percent. And among adolescents 12-19 years. obesity has increased from about five to eighteen percent during that same period of time.
Importantly, Military children are not immune to the current obesity epidemic. As part of the White House’s commitment to addressing the childhood obesity epidemic in America, The Department of Defense Childhood Obesity work group was established to develop a strategic action plan to support the President's goal of eradicating childhood obesity in a generation. In turn, the Resource Center for the Prevention of Child Obesity has been tasked with reviewing existing obesity prevention and intervention programs, cataloging the evidence base behind these programs, as well as infusing empirical evidence into the Military’s efforts to prevent childhood obesity.
The Resource Center is an interactive searchable web-based platform developed to help professionals more effectively address childhood obesity, as well as obesity among the Military families they serve. By hosting the Resource Center, the Clearinghouse has created a cohesive supported virtual community for helping professionals, researchers, and Military and community leaders.
One might ask: How do you know if an obesity prevention program is effective? In order to answer that question, the Clearinghouse Resource Center is in the process of first developing a searchable electronic database of obesity prevention and intervention programs including both Department of Defense and civilian programs. Second, the Resource Center determines the evidence base of these obesity programs using the Clearinghouse's Continuum of Evidence. Note that you can access the Continuum of Evidence on the Clearinghouse website under the Programs tab. Third, the Resource Center is developing user-friendly fact sheets for each obesity program listed on the Clearinghouse website under Obesity Prevention.
And finally, the Resource Center provides opportunities for interactive learning and proactive technical assistance. Focusing on what works in obesity prevention and intervention is essential to the health of Military families as well as for Military family readiness. It is important to remember that Military children are not immune to the current obesity epidemic, and importantly, approximately 25-35% of children of active duty Military will go on to enlist in a branch of the Military. The Resource Center for the Prevention of Child Obesity provides valuable information, tools, and technical assistance to help professionals working with Military families combat the obesity epidemic.
I want to thank you again for joining me today for this podcast.