Conference Goals

Obesity in children and adolescents carries serious health and social consequences and has become a concerning and costly epidemic for families, communities, schools, and health care providers. Over the past three decades, the proportion of overweight children in the United States has almost tripled. Approximately one in three children and one in four teens in California are estimated to be overweight. Poor nutrition and physical inactivity may soon overtake tobacco as the leading causes of death in the United States. This could be the first generation in the history of the United States to have shorter life expectancies than their parents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cost attributable to obesity in United States could be as high as $147 billion in 2008, up from $78.5 billion in 1998.

Beginning in 2001 and every other year since, the California Department of Public Health, the University of California, Berkeley, Center for Weight and Health, and the California Department of Education have joined together to host the Childhood Obesity Conference. The California Endowment and Kaiser Permanente are now official conference hosts. The Conference is the largest gathering of professionals on the topic of pediatric overweight who are working together toward the common goal of reducing the nation’s childhood obesity rates!

The Conference has become an important way for health care professionals, policy makers, educators, and community advocates to share strategies, develop partnerships, and coordinate their efforts to combat the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. It serves a critical role in moving from sharing the evidence of the obesity epidemic to sharing best practices. The 2013 conference will showcase the latest research, evidence-based best practices and policy and environmental change strategies.