Dr. Rodney Lyn, a childhood obesity expert and assistant professor in the School of Public Health at Georgia State University, is available to discuss the World Health Organization’s recent findings that nearly one-third of the world is overweight or obese and that no country has been able to curb obesity rates in the last three decades. He can also discuss the childhood obesity epidemic.

“Findings on global obesity are an indictment against our lifestyles and the food and built environments that facilitate widespread, unhealthy dietary and physical activity behaviors. Until recently, obesity was a public health issue that burdened Western countries. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of obesity continues to grow, especially in low- and middle-income nations. Globally, the way that we live has changed over the past three decades. There has been a shift in dietary behaviors, the food environment, physical activity patterns, and the built environments that are associated with the rising prevalence of obesity rates across the world. The shift in dietary habits are experienced as part of globalization," Lyn said.

“Physical inactivity is another area of concern. According to data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, in 2012, only 24.8 percent of U.S. youth 12-15 years old were engaging in moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least 60 minutes daily while less than half of all adults met the physical activity recommendations of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity weekly, according to the CDC,” he said.

Lyn’s research focuses on childhood obesity prevention, school and community health and the reduction of health disparities. He has a special interest in identifying effective policy and system approaches to increasing physical activity and healthy eating in children and has published numerous peer-reviewed articles on these topics.

He directs the Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY) initiative, a collaborative effort between the state’s research universities and statewide partners to address childhood obesity. Lyn teaches Childhood Obesity Prevention: Evidence, Policy, and Practices and other public health courses.

For more information about Lyn, visit http://publichealth.gsu.edu/profile/rodney-lyn/.