Leading Pediatrician and Advisor for First Lady Obama’s “Let’s Move” Campaign to Visit Vermont Department of Health

For Immediate Release: July 22, 2010
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health
802-863-7281

BURLINGTON – Dr. Judith Palfrey, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), will update Vermont state leaders about national efforts to eliminate childhood obesity in the United States and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign on July 29 at the Vermont Department of Health.

Vermont’s Agency of Human Services (Secretary Rob Hofmann), Health Department (Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD), Agency of Agriculture (Secretary Roger Allbee), Department of Education, and the Agency of Transportation will be among the state agencies participating with Dr. Palfrey in a Fit & Healthy Vermonters advisory committee meeting, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Health Department, 108 Cherry Street (Room 2B).

Fit & Healthy Vermonters advisory committee meeting agenda

Dr. Palfrey will discuss how the efforts of the AAP (a 60,000 pediatrician member organization) and the “Let’s Move” campaign align with the Fit & Healthy Vermonters initiative to reduce the epidemic level of 30 percent of children overweight or obese in the United States.

Dr. Palfrey is in Vermont to deliver the keynote address at the Vermont Child Health Symposium on Friday, July 30 at the University of Vermont Davis Center ballroom. Dr. Palfrey was alongside First Lady Michele Obama when the “Let’s Move” campaign was launched in February of 2010.

“Vermont’s approach since 2006 has been to address chronic conditions such as obesity through the Fit & Healthy Vermonters initiative and the Blueprint for Health, and these have become national models,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “The Health Department works with health care providers and the Vermont Child Health Improvement Program to prevent obesity by promoting healthy nutrition and physical activity for children from the very beginning – during pregnancy and in early infancy.

“We’re honored to have Dr. Palfrey visit Vermont and provide an overview of how the AAP and the First Lady are joining forces to eliminate childhood obesity within a generation.”

In 2009, 26 percent of all Vermont young people in grades eight through 12 were overweight for their age and height. Although this is better than the national average, it reflects a sharp increase over the past 15 years. Overweight and obese Vermonters are at higher risk for many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers.

For more information about Fit & Healthy Vermonters and the agenda for the July 29 meeting at the Health Department, visit healthvermont.gov. For more information on the Vermont Child Health Symposium visit: http://learn.uvm.edu/vchip/program_schedule

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