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Obesity & Healthy Weight

Summary Recommendations from Strategy Groups

  1. The land-grant university system is well positioned to advance an obesity prevention agenda through community-based educational interventions well grounded in research. University presidents play a critical leadership role in articulating the role of land-grant university research, education, and extension in addressing the obesity epidemic and making the university campus residential experience a model for lifelong healthy living.
  2. The Farm Bill should be utilized to affirm USDA's role in nutrition research and extension education to prevent obesity and to assure funding to address research gaps, conduct program evaluation, and train land-grant faculty members to address this major health issue.
  3. An immediate challenge to Cooperative Extension is to identify and share best practices in extension programming that lead to healthy lifestyles and prevent obesity.
  4. Cooperative Extension should make a commitment to bring the total resources of agriculture, youth development, family consumer sciences and nutrition, and community resource development together to address the obesity epidemic with a holistic programmatic agenda.
  5. Degree programs, professional preparation, and service learning opportunities for university students need to be adapted to produce a cadre of professionals trained to address complex health issues such as obesity.
  6. Land-grant universities should assume leadership for the coordination of community-based wellness initiatives that influence the adoption and implementation of best practices for all citizens, i.e., the establishment and implementation of school wellness plans community asset mapping, etc.
  7. An eXtension community of practice should be developed to place the land-grant university system in a visible leadership position regarding healthy lifestyles including healthy weight and utilize innovative technology to reach the American public.
  8. Land-grant universities should provide leadership for public policy education that prepares families, practitioners, and community leaders to exert influence on policy development at the federal, state, and local levels to bring about a culture of health and wellness in the United States.

Sponsored by USDA/NIFA, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, and the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges, July 19-20, 2005.

 

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