Today is the second day of the “Building a Healthier Future” conference in Washington, DC. The website for the conference lists four breakout sessions in which the following topics will be discussed:
1) Childcare. This session will take a holistic look at innovative strategies to create healthy childcare environments for children.
It is noted that preschools and other care settings that can greatly influence early habits have recently received increased attention.
What do you think Dan’s Planners? How can we take a holistic systems approach to ensuring providers are fully supported in these efforts? How can we affect vendors of food, play equipment, educational materials, and kitchen equipment; agencies providing professional development services to providers; organizations providing wellness services; and communications and technology agencies to create healthier child care centers and homes?
2) Access. This session will examine marketing and pricing strategies to encourage shoppers to buy healthier and locally-grown foods and select healthier alternatives while dining out.
It is noted that food companies and restaurants spend substantial money on the “4 Ps”—product development, placement, pricing and promotion.
What do you think Dan’s Planners? How do you think that store layout, displays, pricing and menu design could be used to guide consumers toward purchasing and eating healthier and locally-grown products?
3) Physical Activity. This session will explore private sector partnerships and investments with the most sustainability and greatest potential to generate movement and play amongst our nation’s youth.
It is noted that children in many neighborhoods have limited opportunities to expend energy and be physically active during the school day and after school hours. Physical education in schools has been streamlined extensively and recess has been cut out of some schools entirely. In some neighborhoods and communities, parks are unsafe, playgrounds are underdeveloped and sports programs are too costly or simply nonexistent.
What do you think Dan’s Planners? What are the most effective methods to tactically and successfully increase physical activity?
4) Schools. This session will explore innovative opportunities to improve health in schools.
It is noted that schools are optimal settings for influencing students’ healthy living behaviors, however, given the current fiscal environment, local and state education systems are challenged to provide even the most basic services. In these times, trying to offer healthier foods, provide healthier environments, and improving health education is difficult for many.
What do you think Dan’s Planners? How can we support our nation’s schools to offer a healthier school environment?
These are not easy questions to answer, but we’re glad that there are people like the First Lady Michelle Obama, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and Senator Bill Frist who care about finding the answers.