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Child Obesity Rates Continue To Skyrocket, Lawmakers Hold Online Forum, Event with Professional Athletes to Raise Awareness & Reverse Epidemic
Bronx Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera & Senator Andrew J. Lanza Hold Online Forum & Community Event to Combat Growing Epidemic of Childhood Obesity, Warn of Critical Impact on Health Care System, Early Deaths for Next Generation
ALBANY, NEW YORK – With national childhood obesity rates soaring and with even higher rates of overweight children in New York State, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, member of the Assembly Standing Committee on Health and the Assembly Committee on Children and Families, today announced two events she intends to use to raise public awareness and the participation of professional athletes to reverse a trend that has 1 in 3 children under 18 either overweight or obese.
According to Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera, “With nearly a third of children and adolescents either overweight or obese in this country, more than 23 million young people are at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and other serious chronic diseases. The toll on an already overburdened health care system is increasing exponentially.” She added, “Studies estimate that the obesity epidemic is already costing the nation more than $170 billion annually in direct medical expenses and over $75 billion in lost productivity.”
On Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 1:30 PM, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera will host and be joined on a nation-wide web cast by State Senator Andrew J. Lanza, Dr. Elena Rios of the National Hispanic Medical Association, and Donovan Green, the personal trainer to Dr. Oz, to discuss the childhood obesity epidemic and the challenges and opportunities to remedy this national health crisis. The free web cast can be viewed by logging-in live or at anytime over the next 12 months at: http://us.reg.meeting-stream.com/100611_130pm.
On Monday, October 10, 2011, at 1:30 PM, Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera will be joined by UFC Welterweight Champion Matthew John Serra, Donovan Green, a physical fitness and martial art expert, and Gloria Brent, a registered dietitian and nutritionist from Jacobi Medical Center, for an event for children and their parents titled, “Fight the Bulge, A Get Fit, Stay Fit Day For Bronx Children” at the Bronx House, 900 Pelham Parkway South. The event will feature demonstrations, nutrition tips, and children attending will have their Body Mass Index (BMI) measured.
“We now have a situation where children as young as 7 years-of-age are on cholesterol lowering medication and teenagers are being prescribed medicines to control their high blood pressure. For minority communities, this childhood obesity epidemic is an immediate crisis, with over 38% of Hispanic children either overweight or obese and over 18% of minority teenage girls being classified as overweight,” declared Rivera.
According to Rivera, not enough is being done by government to prevent obesity. “We have communities all over New York that lack safe neighborhoods and parks for recreation and exercise. More communities lack access to supermarkets and places to buy healthy foods, fruits and vegetables and our schools are places were our children have access to many unhealthy foods.”
“I plan to use the participation of celebrity personalities I have organized and tap the support of outstanding community leaders like State Senator Andrew J. Lanza to work with my colleagues in the New York State Legislature to put in place comprehensive public policy initiatives that attacks this national crisis diligently.”
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