The following statement is from Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, on data released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on obesity rates.
Newswise — "As our nation is increasingly uniting to improve the health of communities, this new data provides us with both hope and grave concerns. Today’s youth are setting the new normal for healthy living, showing the world that progress is possible if we continue to devote ourselves to creating healthy, active environments for kids. The CDC data shows that trends in obesity rates among youth have stabilized and our nation’s commitment to reversing this epidemic must be sustained. Unfortunately, we are not seeing progress on the rates of obesity among adults.
Of greatest concern is the growing divide among racial groups – underscoring the need to support Black and Hispanic communities in closing the gap in issues of access to healthy foods and safe community spaces for physical activity.
The American Heart Association strongly supports multiple approaches to ensuring all Americans are able to eat healthy and get active. That’s why we focus our efforts on educating the public on nutritious foods and physical activity, activating advocates on policy change that can increase access to healthy living, and support research that helps us better understand the most effective approaches to improving health and reducing disparities.
We applaud states and communities that are increasing access to healthy affordable foods and safe places for families to be active, schools for improving nutrition in the cafeteria, industry changes that provide healthier options and market those to children, and parents for making health a priority in their homes.
We are also buoyed by the momentum we are seeing as families, schools, industry and health advocates are increasingly working to drive meaningful and lasting change that shifts towards healthier living. Together, we can ensure that the places where our children live, learn, play and pray makes it easy and enjoyable for them to eat healthy foods and be active."