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PHI Praises Childhood Obesity Conference's Focus on Health in All Policies, Calls for Nation to Stem Childhood Obesity

June 28, 2011

On the opening day of the 6th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference, the Public Health Institute (PHI) applauds the conference theme, "Celebrating Success and Moving Toward Health in All Policies." PHI calls for national adoption of a health in all policies approach to stem the childhood obesity epidemic, one of the most critical health issues facing the United States.

"A health in all policies framework requires that we fundamentally rethink the way that public policy decisions are made," said Mary A. Pittman, DrPH, president and CEO of PHI. "It puts population health at the heart of the decision making process and provides the comprehensive framework needed to address the community, social and economic factors contributing to issues like childhood obesity."

A health in all policies approach envisions that private and public decision makers consider potential health impacts when evaluating new and existing policies. A child's community environment can profoundly shape behaviors related to diet and exercise. Lack of access to safe parks and playgrounds or affordable, healthy foods, for example, can affect a child's risk of becoming overweight or obese. These conditions are directly influenced by policies created across a wide variety of sectors from urban planning, housing and education to agriculture, land-use decisions and tax policy.