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Eating for Health

Connecticut Coalition Against Childhood Obesity Releases Statewide Poll Results

Fri, 10 Feb 2012 15:48:20 EST

75% of respondents said that a child's overall health—including weight, nutrition and physical activity- has a major impact on his or her success in school.
 
Hartford, CT (February 9, 2012) — Today, The Connecticut Coalition Against Childhood Obesity released a statewide poll focusing on the severity of childhood obesity in Connecticut. The poll was sponsored by Save the Children and The American Heart Association.
 
The Coalition was recently formed to support legislative policies that will improve nutrition and physical activity in schools to reduce obesity. This month, the Coalition will release a 5-point policy agenda based on national best practices and models. The coalition intends to implement many of these policies in various education and health bills this legislative session.
 
The poll included likely voters from Fairfield County, Hartford County, New Haven, Middlesex, New London, Litchfield, Tolland and Windham. Over 80% of respondents cited obesity as a serious problem among children and teens in Connecticut today. Importantly, the poll also indicated that 92% of respondents feel that schools and the community should play a major role in reducing obesity in Connecticut.
 
Perhaps the most surprising but equally revealing result was respondents citing the 'number one' health risk to children in Connecticut today as childhood obesity. This polled even higher than drugs 21%, nicotine 11%, or alcohol 11%.
 
Clark Hansen of Save the Children shared, 'It is so important that we combat the issue of childhood obesity as an overall student health issue and a critical factor in successful school reform efforts. How can our Connecticut students achieve their maximum potential in school if they are battling obesity and obesity related health problems? We need a coordinated effort here in Connecticut to make a true impact,' says Hansen.

The poll shows that 98% of people believe that a student's health has an impact on their performance at school.
 
Lucy Nolan, from End Hunger Connecticut! and a Coalition member, explains, 'This poll should demonstrate to the Legislature this is a major concern for the voters of Connecticut. This session is going to be dominated by the achievement gap in Connecticut. However if childhood obesity and the health our children are not a part of this conversation then we may be missing a major piece to the solution.'
 
Obesity costs the United States an estimated $147 billion each year in medical expenses and the rates of obesity among children, adolescents and adults have increased dramatically over the past four decades. More than 23 million (1 in 3) young people in the United States are overweight or obese and at a greater risk for heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and other health problems.
 
The Connecticut Coalition Against Childhood Obesity
 
The recently formed coalition was founded by Save the Children and is in the process of adding new members who will be announced at the upcoming press conference.
 
The Coalition supports policy priorities that will improve nutrition and physical activity in schools, child care, families and communities; that are based on best practices; that are likely to reduce the incidence of childhood obesity and have a positive impact on children's health; and that are achievable through policy, regulation and other reform actions.
 
For more information and to access the entire poll please email ctfightingchildhoodobesity@gmail.com
 
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Source: WebWire



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