WORKSHOP ON EDUCATION FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH PACO II Workshop- Held on June 14, 2012 in Aruba EDUCATION FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH 1. The UN HLM Declaration on NCDs, the Declaration of Mexico on NCDs and Obesity, and the Declaration of CARICOM are among the important policy declarations concerning childhood obesity. 2. As per PACO I, the emphasis should be changing obesogenic environments through national, state and municipal level initiatives National policies including inputs from the civil society organizations and the private sector are important to influence the social, economic and environmental determinants of obesity and other inequities in health. All citizens need to have easy choices available regarding healthy eating and active living in cities and settings where people live, work, learn and enjoy. Vertical and horizontal multi-sectorial, multi-level coordination is needed for countries to implement effective approaches for the prevention of childhood obesity based on the lifecourse framework. There is a special need for closer collaboration between the Ministries of Education and the Ministries of Health, and other relevant Ministries e.g. Agriculture, Trade, Sports & Culture, to support attainment of health and education system goals. 3. 4. EDUCATION FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH 5. National childhood obesity prevention programs should include actions to: prevent or treat preconceptual overweight/obesity; foster appropriate weight gain during pregnancy; support women in avoiding retaining excessive weight postpartum; and promote optimal infant feeding practices, including breast feeding, complementary feeding, and the avoidance of sugar sweetened beverages and “junk foods.” 6. Early childhood (ages 0-4)- and school-based nutrition education and food/feeding programs as well as daily physical activity, are key to promoting child healthy weight. 7. Before and after school programs, and summer feeding programs, should be developed and/or strengthened (on or off school campuses) to ensure child healthy weight. This may result in reduction of screen time and increased consumption of nutritious foods after school time. 8. Key community institutions outside the formal education system, including early childhood centers, churches, pediatric/family medicine clinics, etc. should lead programming to support family nutrition education, healthy food access, and daily physical activity – all of which are key to child “healthy weight” initiatives. EDUCATION FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH 9. Innovative, evidence-based, and attractive social marketing education efforts, focusing on key messages to change eating and physical activity behaviors,* targeting family units, socializing and community-based institutions, as well as society at large, are needed to support the efficacy of the lifecourse framework at all societal levels. 10. *reduce consumption of added sugars/refined grain consumption, reduce sodium, reduce saturated and fats; increase consumption of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and fish; increase daily physical activity. 11. Public policies and multi-sectoral action are needed to protect children and families against marketing of foods and non-alcoholic beverages containing high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt, and low in essential nutrients. 12. Monitoring and evaluation systems should be in place to properly assess process and impacts of lifecourse national strategies, including conditional cash transfer program, and targets for childhood obesity prevention should be included in national and regional plans. EDUCATION FOR CHILDHOOD OBESITY PREVENTION: A LIFE-COURSE APPROACH 13. An early career leadership scholars program/network in Latin America and the Caribbean, that focuses on evidence-based approaches to childhood obesity prevention based on the lifecourse framework, should be institutionalized/created. 14.International agencies and those in the Inter-American system, especially those working in the maternal-child health and education sector should include consideration of childhood obesity prevention as a priority in their policies and programs.