The 2015 Childhood Obesity Conference will start on the 29th of June and end on the 2nd of July. It will be held at the Town and Country Resort and Conference Center in San Diego, CA. The hosts for the conference will include the California Department of Public Health and the California Department of Education. The other hosts are The California Endowment, Nutrition Policy Institute UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Kaiser Permanente.
The event is the largest and most influential collaboration of professionals in the country dedicated to fighting pediatric obesity/overweight. There will be more than 2,000 participants from all parts of the country expected to attend this year. Everyone is invited to share and discuss emerging research, best practices and different efforts at a community level along with effective policy strategies for promoting and sustaining healthy eating and physical activity suggestions for children, adolescents and other members of the family.
Theme of the Conference
The conference theme for the 2015 Childhood Obesity Conference is “Collective Impact: Developing a Shared Vision to Achieve Greater Success”. The theme entices the participants of the conference to learn how to effectively form partnerships and other cross-sector collaborations for accelerating systemic change and discovering the other possibilities for forming uncommon and thought-provoking partnerships for combating the childhood obesity epidemic. Additionally, the conference will also cover how existing partnerships can be strengthened to maximize results, utilize resources and create a shared vision for achieving social norm change in the community setting and others served.
The Focus on a Collective Impact
One of the main subjects that will be highlighted by the conference is the use of collective impact principles combined with evidence and practice based strategies for the effective and efficient management of socio-ecological factors that add to the overweight/obesity problem among children and adolescents. There are strategies and principles for reaching children and adolescents that experience inequality from being overweight/obese which will be improved.
What Is Collective Impact?
- People who come together in a structured way in order to achieve social change.
- People who come together to define a particular problem and come up with a shared vision for solving it.
- Monitoring progress together in order to achieve continuous improvement.
- Coordinating the different efforts of the group to maximize the end result.
- Building trust and strengthening relationships among all the parties.
- Having a particular group that focuses on organizing the work of the group.
Here are the conference goals according to the Childhood Obesity Conference website:
Bring together diverse stakeholders to share knowledge, leverage partnerships and identify collective solutions to increase access to healthy foods and increase opportunities for children and their families to be physically active.
Share and discuss emerging research, best practices, community-based efforts and effective policy strategies that promote and sustain healthy eating and physical activity practices.
Elevate evidence and practice-based strategies that focus on reducing inequities in high-risk, low income communities.
Using a collective impact approach, discover new cross-sector collaborations and strengthen existing partnerships to effectively and efficiently combat the socio-ecological factors that contribute to overweight/obesity in children and adolescents.
Recognize opportunities to leverage State and Federal legislation to further policies and programs that aim to reduce overweight/obesity in children and adolescents (e.g. Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act, Farm Bill, Affordable Care Act, Covered California etc.).
Purpose of the Conference
Childhood and adolescent obesity comes with serious health and social consequences. In fact, it is now considered a costly epidemic not just for families but for communities, schools and health care providers as well. In the past 30 years, the rate for obesity both in adults and preschool children has doubled while it is has tripled in school-age children and adolescents. However, progress has been evident in the last few years due to campaigns like the Childhood Obesity Conference. In California, there is a modest decrease in the rates of childhood obesity. Yet, despite signs of progress, there are still disparities in obesity rates across the country so there is still a lot that needs to be done.
History of the Conference
The Childhood Obesity Conference started in 2001 because of the obesity epidemic. It occurs every other year and since its inception has become an important event for health care professionals, educators, policy makers and community advocates to develop partnerships, share strategies and coordinate efforts to address the different factors that have an influence on the prevalence of obesity/overweight in both children and adolescents. The conference has not become the biggest gathering of professionals on the topic of pediatric obesity/overweight in the country.
The conference would not be possible without the support of sponsors, conference hosts, presenters, planning committee members and other participants in the last decade and a half. The conference aims to continue to serve as the foremost meeting ground for those who want to reduce the childhood obesity rates in the country.