On May 31, 2017, MIFMA Executive Director, Dru Montri and Colleen Matts of MSU Regional Food Systems presented a poster; MI Farm to School and Hoophouses for Health: Increasing Access to Healthy Foods at the Childhood Obesity Conference in San Diego, California.
The 9th Biennial Childhood Obesity Conference is the nation’s largest, most influential collaboration of professionals dedicated to combating pediatric obesity. Nearly 2,000 attendees from across the country attend this year. The conference discuss emerging research, best practices, community-based efforts and effective policy strategies that promote and sustain healthy eating and physical activity practices for children, adolescents, and their families,
The poster presented by Montri and Matts, complimented the Food Systems Track of the conference which explored local and global agricultural production, processing, distribution, retailing, food service, consumption, and waste. Together these components impact human nutrition and health, food security, the economy, and the environment both today and for future generations.
This year’s conference theme was, “Good Health for All: Addressing Equity where we Live, Learn, Work, and Play”. This theme invited conference participants to discuss issues of health equity and work together towards creating equitable outcomes so that all children can attain their highest level of physical and mental health. Health inequities are defined as the health disparities or factors that shape health, which are systemic and avoidable and, therefore, considered unjust or unfair. Health equity, in regards to childhood obesity, is achieved when all individuals and communities have equal access to services and conditions that promote optimal health, which is attained in part by focusing prevention efforts on those with the greatest obstacles to good health.
The primary focus of obesity prevention has been on populations that experience health inequities. The conference will focus on how conference participants can address health disparities – including factors such as race, income, gender, or geographic location – in order to achieve equitable health outcomes. Conference sessions will address inequitable distribution of social, economic, and environmental conditions – which includes but is not limited to food access, housing, educational opportunities, and safe communities – that contribute to poor health outcomes.
To learn more about Hoophouses for Health – click here.