Source: by Tisha Arnold UPPB News
PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Obesity is one of the major health challenges facing our nation and is the most prominent indicator of unhealthy lifestyle choices related to diet and exercise. African-American communities are highly affected by this disease and its health consequences. The Health Services unit at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) was awarded a $2500 grant from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Region VI, Office of Minority Health (OMH) Grant addressing childhood obesity in an effort to combat this problem.
The purpose of the project is to reiterate healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity that can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing one of the chronic conditions.
Incoming freshmen residing in the Living and Learning Center on UAPB’s campus will be the focus of the project according to Letsie Bass, Director of Health Services and Principal Investigator for the grant.
The Center of Disease Control (CDC) defines adolescent health as the transition from childhood to adulthood. Adolescents make choices that affect their current and future health. These choices are often influenced by family members and friends as well as community, school and work environments.
The 1999 U.S. Surgeon General Report indicated that more than 14% of adolescents age 12 to 19 years were overweight. This prevalence has nearly tripled for adolescents in the past two decades. The increases in overweight and obesity cuts across all ages, racial and ethnic groups and both genders. CDC addresses childhood obesity by signifying that this epidemic has more than tripled in the past 30 years. The prevalence of obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5% in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008, and adolescents aged 12 to 19 years increased to 18.1%. Children and adolescents who are obese are at a greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems (i.e. stigmatization and poor self-esteem). Healthy lifestyle habits, including healthy eating and physical activity, can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases.
For more information about the project, call (870)575-7105.