More than 200 people turned out for a childhood obesity summit held Tuesday at the William Penn Inn in Lower Gwynedd.
Speakers included U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Regional
Health Administrator Dalton Paxman. He said the number of obese and
overweight children has more than doubled in the last two decades,
causing other health problems.
“The data are all going in the wrong direction for obesity and for the
associated illnesses of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other
Doctor Paxman said childhood obesity is an epidemic. The keynote
speaker was Children and Nature Network Co-Founder Cheryl Charles. She
said the best solution is outdoor play.
“Getting the fresh air, being able to actually take appropriate risk,
learning what it’s like to climb a tree or do any number of things that
turn out to be fundamental to children’s health and well-being, their
healthy development, so obesity would be a characteristic of changes in
society right now, and one of the most powerful solutions is just
opening the door and going outside.”
Doctor Charles said organized sports are fine, but unstructured play is
important too. The child obesity summit was sponsored by the North
Penn Collaborative for Health and Human Services.