Go NAP SACC’s own fearless leader Dr. Dianne Ward, and one of the other original creators of NAP SACC, Dr. Alice Ammerman, recently participated in a task force on early childhood obesity prevention convened by the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM). The task force issued recommendations that would bring together parents, child care providers, health professionals and the community to promote healthy eating and physical activity in children.
“Attacking the causes of obesity with our youngest children is key to creating a healthier North Carolina and improving long-term health,” said Pam Silberman, president and CEO of the NCIOM. “Addressing the causes of obesity among our citizens is necessary to improve quality of life, to reduce chronic disease, and to limit rising health costs. The Task Force recognized that no single strategy could address this complex issue, but a collaborative effort including health care professionals, child care providers, families and community organizations could have a significant impact.”
The recommendations in the new report reflect the collaborative approach needed to tackle obesity in young children. There are recommendations to better guide and support doctors as they work with young patients and their families, and recommendations for new state-wide and community-based programs and policies. One of the recommendations speaks directly to the important role of child care in the lives of young children:
Integrate healthy activities into child care settings
- Create incentives for implementation of evidence-based strategies into programs and policies in child care centers located in counties with high obesity rates among children.
- Provide education for child care providers on strategies for physical activity and nutrition, as well as cross-training on activity and nutrition for child care consultants.
- Create a voluntary recognition program for child care programs and early education programs that meet enhanced physical activity and nutrition standards.
This report marks an exciting step for North Carolina! Keep an eye out to see where these recommendations take the state in its work to combat childhood obesity.