Schwarzenegger convenes 2010 summit on obesity

08:46, February 25, 2010      

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Joined by former President Bill Clinton, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger convened the Governor's 2010 Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity here on Wednesday.

"We have enacted some of the most innovative and successful strategies in the nation to promote health and nutrition since my first Summit in 2005, but there is still work to be done to create a healthier future for our children and all Californians," said Schwarzenegger. "I am thrilled to join (former) President Clinton in convening the 2010 Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity to discuss promising practices and build on what has been done to prevent obesity and promote healthy living."

Opening the summit, the governor and Clinton participated in a discussion in which they discussed ideas and policies to combat obesity and promote a healthier California and nation.

The Governor's 2010 Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity brought together leaders and experts from both the public and private sectors and a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the best policies and practices to combat the state's obesity crisis.

"I've been proud to co-lead the Alliance for a Healthier Generation with Governor Schwarzenegger and American Heart Association President Dr. Clyde Yancy to combat the nationwide epidemic of childhood obesity," said Clinton.

"Through the Alliance's efforts, we have increased healthcare benefits for the prevention of obesity for more than 1.5 million young people, more than 2.2 million kids and teens have made a commitment to live healthier lives, and more than 7,800 schools across the country have enlisted to build healthier environments for students and staff, including 398 schools in the state of California. This summit gives us an opportunity to discuss what we ' ve done well and what we can do better in California and across the country to ensure this generation of kids isn't the first to live shorter lives than their parents."

California's obesity epidemic poses a significant public health and economic threat to the state. Obesity is a costly epidemic that can lead to increased health care costs and diminished worker productivity.

According to the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, the annual economic costs associated with obesity, overweight and physical inactivity in the state doubled in six years, from 22 billion dollars in 2000 to 41 billion dollars in 2006.

In California, approximately one in nine children, one in three teens, and three in five adults are overweight or obese. Although recent trends suggest leveling growth rates of obesity in the state, overall obesity rates remain disconcertingly high. In the last decade alone, adult obesity rates have increased by nearly 10 percent and have more than doubled since 1990.

The 2010 Summit builds upon the principles used in Schwarzenegger's groundbreaking 2005 Summit on Health, Nutrition and Obesity, which brought together leaders and experts from business, education, government and public health to launch a cross-sector approach to increasing healthy food options and opportunities for physical activity in California.

Source: Xinhua
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