National Hispanic Medical Association Meets with Congress on Strategies to Improve Early Childhood Obesity

Jun 10, 2014, 17:39 ET from National Hispanic Medical Association

WASHINGTON, June 10, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Early childhood obesity – for children up to age 8 years old - needs our attention now for the future of our nation.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, 22.5 percent of Hispanic children were obese compared to 14.1 percent of white children. In addition, the CDC reports health care spending due to obesity is estimated at $210 billion annually, or 21 percent of total national health care spending.

The National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA) is convening a Congressional Briefing, "Strategies to Improve Hispanic Childhood Obesity," at the Rayburn House Office Building in room B-340 on June 12, 2014 from 12:00 – 1:45 pm to promote the recommendations from the 2013 Hispanic Early Childhood Obesity Leadership Summits, supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and other strategies from federal agencies and partners.

"We are bringing experts to Congress to discuss educating Hispanic parents and children," said Elena Rios, MD, MSPH, President & CEO of NHMA, "because our families, schools, businesses, and physicians have the opportunity with the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to invest in prevention efforts that can more effectively reduce child obesity."

"By prioritizing early childhood diet quality today we create the opportunity to change health disparities for future generations. We know that the risk cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even cancer fall if a quality diet is followed. Government and industry need to work together to ensure we expand access to nutrient rich foods - as was done with yogurt in the WIC program – to help improve diets for Americans," said Dr. Bob Murray.

"Dairy farm families have long been committed to children's health and we're excited to share solutions in our schools," said Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, president of National Dairy Council (NDC). "Through Fuel Up to Play 60 (FUTP 60), created by NDC and the NFL, now in over 73,000 schools, we are helping students eat better and move more. FUTP 60 emphasizes how improved nutrition, especially school breakfast, and increased physical activity not only can help improve health, but also academic achievement (i.e., the learning connection)."

Dr. Elena Rios, will be presenting an overview of the recommendations from the Hispanic Early Childhood Obesity Leadership Summits.  The full report can be viewed on NHHF's website:

Other speakers include: Jesus Mendoza, U.S. Department of Agriculture; Robert Murray, MD College of Education and Human Ecology, The Ohio State University; Jean Ragalie-Carr, RDN, President, NDC.

The National Hispanic Medical Association is a non-profit organization in Washington, DC with the mission to empower Hispanic physicians to lead efforts to improve health of Hispanic populations in collaboration with public and private sector partners.  For more information please visit

SOURCE National Hispanic Medical Association