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AAPI plans 9-city childhood obesity awareness campaign

Chicago, March 5 (IANS) The American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) plans to organize a nine-city childhood obesity awareness campaign in the US with seminars and music concerts by Indian singer Shankar Mahadevan in June.

“With obesity proving to be a major epidemic affecting nearly one third of the nation’s population, we have a responsibility to save future generations by decreasing childhood obesity,” said Jayesh Shah, president-elect announcing the tour.

“The impact and role of AAPI in influencing policy makers and the public is ever more urgent today,” said Dr. Narendra Kumar, President of AAPI.

The awareness campaign with continuing medical education (CME) seminars will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, June 8; Los Angeles, California, June 9, Dallas, Texas, June 15; New York, June 16; New Jersey, June 22; Atlanta, Georgia, June 23; Tampa, Florida, June 29; and San Jose, California, June 30.

In partnership with local governments, non-governmental agencies and schools around the nation, the AAPI campaign will identify high prevalence – high risk schools and choose 100 schools for the year 2013-14, with the objective of promoting awareness of childhood obesity and offering educational resources to promote healthy lifestyle.

AAPI will also work towards advocating policy changes to help build a healthier community.

AAPI said it wants to help promote First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move programme, emphasizing two specific items: “Choose My Plate” which replaces the more complicated Food Pyramid and is easier to use.

It illustrates the 5 food groups- fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods and dairy. And, PALA- Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, that students can sign up for.

PALA consists of a six-week log-sheet that students can use to log in what they eat and how much activity they do daily in number of minutes or in pedometer steps. When a student does a good job on it, that student receives the President’s Award.

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