The NAACP has announced that it will release an guide created to help fight the childhood obesity crisis among African American youth. The Childhood Obesity Advoacy Manual will be presented by the organization’s leaders and health experts in a press conference to take place next Tuesday, September 27th in Washington, DC and features information designed to help NAACP chapters and other groups to promote healthy habits among Black families. There is also an advocacy agenda included to help users work toward changing government policies and programs that impact the healh of our youth.
According to Shavon Arline, the NAACP’s Director of Health Programs: “The NAACP is committed to sounding the alarm on childhood obesity. Our manual is designed to provide our units with the tools they need to implement awareness, education, and advocacy opportunities in the Black community. With active units in every state throughout the United States, we believe we are well equipped to engage community and state leaders in this fight to save this and the next generation.”
The 102-year-old organization cites the troubling statistics regarding African-American and Latino youth as the reason for the development of the manual:
“In the United States, 31.8% of youth between two and nineteen years of age – or twenty-three million children – are obese or significantly overweight. African American children are more likely to be poor, obese, and live in unsafe communities where there are few opportunities for physical activity, higher exposures to harmful environmental factors, fewer supermarkets, and limited access to healthy food options. Today, 38% of Latino children and 34.9% of African-American children are overweight or obese, compared with 30.7% of White children.”
“It is no secret that if not eradicated, childhood obesity will be one of the many causes of premature deaths and chronic disease for our children,” says NAACP President and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous. “The NAACP treasures the lives of our children and will stand with communities to fight against any systemic or environmental barriers that inhibit one’s opportunity to live a healthy life.”
The NAACP website will feature a page dedicated to the report, slated to launch on September 27th.