Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas. Workshop Summary


Note: Proceedings contain the opinion of the presenters, but do NOT reflect the conclusions of the Health and Medicine Division or the National Academies. Learn more about the differences between Reports and Proceedings.

The United States is experiencing an epidemic of childhood obesity. This problem could potentially affect the health of the U.S. population for decades to come, incurring substantial costs to the nation. In particular, Texas is home to three of the five U.S. cities with the highest obesity rates in the nation. In 2007, one-third of Texas high school students were either overweight or obese. Moreover, according to the state demographer in January 2009, the number of obese Texans will triple to 15 million by 2040 without preventive measures.

The statistics on childhood obesity, demographics, size, and the efforts being made to prevent and reduce obesity in Texas all factored into the Food and Nutrition Board's decision to hold a workshop in Austin, Texas, on February 5-6, 2009. The workshop provided a setting for experts in childhood obesity to meet with Texas lawmakers, public officials, and community leaders to exchange ideas and to view firsthand strategies that are being implemented effectively at the state and local levels to prevent and reverse childhood obesity. Childhood Obesity Prevention in Texas summarizes the workshop.