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The Childhood Obesity Epidemic in Louisiana
- Approximately 1 in 3 Louisiana children is overweight or obese.
- There are serious medical, psychological, and economic
costs associated with childhood obesity.
- In 2011, a Research Advisory Committee convened by
Pennington Biomedical challenged the state to reduce
childhood obesity prevalence to 23.3% by the year
2020, which means a 20% drop in current levels of
The PRevention Impact Systems Model (PRISM)
- In response to this challenge, a Policy Committee was
convened to investigate policy opportunities to achieve
the targeted reduction in childhood obesity prevalence
- The Committee consisted of members from Pennington
Biomedical Research Center, the Louisiana Department
of Health & Hospitals, and the American Heart
- The goal of the Committee was to determine the
current state policies concerning childhood obesity,
discuss the current policy environment in Louisiana,
and use PRISM to project if and when highlighted
policies could make a difference in reducing the
prevalence of childhood obesity.
Modeling Change: Results from PRISM
- Louisiana’s level of childhood obesity will not decrease if
the status quo regarding obesity prevention is maintained.
- Based on the projections generated by PRISM, strong
policies that support healthy eating and promote active
lifestyles may achieve the target of a 20% reduction in
childhood obesity by the year 2020.
- The level of impact depends on the strength of the
interventions and when the interventions go into effect.
Striving for a Healthier Louisiana
- Louisiana’s future – its children – depends on strategic,
comprehensive, sustainable policies and an improved built
environment to promote healthy lifestyles.
- Policies will require long-term commitments and economic
support from individuals, communities, workplaces, schools,
legislators, the media, and industry partners.