|Childhood Obesity City Proclamation – a call to action to community leaders|
El Paso, TX, July 12, 2010 (PAHO/WHO) In a community oriented effort to promote healthy eating and active living to prevent childhood and youth overweight and obesity, the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization U.S.-Mexico Border Office (PAHO/WHO) in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation - Healthy Kids Healthy Communities Initiative, the City of El Paso, Housing Authority of the City of El Paso, U.S. National Park Services, Paso del Norte Health Foundation, El Paso Independent School District, faith-based and other community organizations, the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Texas at Houston, Texas Tech University Health Science Center, and Entravision Communications, are joining forces to ask the Mayor and Council of El Paso to proclaim the week of July 12th – July 18th, 2010 “Childhood Obesity Prevention Week”.
“Childhood Obesity Prevention Week” Proclamation
July 12th – July 18th, 2010
City of El Paso Council Meeting
Tuesday July 13, 2010
El Paso City Hall
2 Civic Center Plaza
El Paso, TX 79901
This proclamation will support efforts for El Paso children to have a longer and healthier lifespan than their previous generation. The life-threatening consequences of this epidemic create a compelling and critical call for action that cannot be ignored.
This effort also supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” nationwide campaign, which calls to action to community leaders, teachers, and parents to prevent childhood obesity. Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services promotes the“Let’s Move Cities and Towns” initiative, emphasizing the critical leadership mayors and elected officials provide to bring communities together and spur action; and
To prevent childhood obesity locally, the city of El Paso takes up this challenge act now by working proactively and collaboratively with all sectors towards:
Helping parents make healthy family choices
Creating health promoting schools
Providing access to healthy and affordable food
Promoting physical activity at school
Improving access to safe places where children can play
Limiting screen time
About Childhood Obesity in El Paso, TX
El Paso is the 6th largest city in Texas with an estimated population of 705,436 inhabitants, of which 76% are of Hispanic origin and 26% is under 15 years of age. El Paso population grew by 14.9% with an estimated population growth rate of 1.25% per year, which is higher than the nation (0.93%) and the State of Texas (1.1 %). Located along the Texas-Mexico border, El Paso is the 7th poorest county in the U.S.23. Poverty among Hispanics in the U.S. is 21.5%, compared to 12.5% at the national level.
El Paso poverty is over twice (28.2%) the national average and higher than the border (20%). The average household income in El Paso was USD 30,968 in 2005 compared to the USD 38,679.00 for U.S. Under and unemployment, high school drop-outs and limited access to development opportunities may influence criminal activity in some communities of El Paso such as the Chamizal (drugs, gangs and prostitution), where less than 30% of population is currently employed, compared with 41% in El Paso. Available limited data indicates 19% of Texas children 10-17 years are overweight. Prevalence of overweight in Texas school children was 22.4%, 19.2%, and 15.5% for 4th, 8th, and 11th grade students respectively; and prevalence was even higher among Hispanic boys and girls.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities in El Paso Texas
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) whose primary goal is to implement healthy eating and active living policy- and environmental-change initiatives that can support healthier communities for children and families across the United States. Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities places special emphasis on reaching children who are at highest risk for obesity on the basis of race/ethnicity, income and/or geographic location. El Paso Texas is one of the 50 cities selected by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for this program. For more information, visit www.