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* The goal of this Call to Action is to encourage early care and education (ECE) professional development providers to create opportunities for quality training in obesity prevention strategies/topics (see table below for examples). Healthy Living Matters (HLM), in collaboration with the Texas Early Childhood Professional Development System (TECPDS), has developed the following specific actions to help make this happen:
  • Qualified trainers listed on the Texas Trainer Registry should submit training proposals in obesity prevention topics to be listed on the Texas Trainer Registry and promote them once approved  
  • Conference organizers should request training proposals specific to obesity prevention topics and create policies around making these types of sessions available at all future conferences
With recent estimates suggesting that 31.7% of children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, the childhood obesity problem has become one of the defining health and social issues of our time. In Texas,1 in 3 children are considered overweight or obese, including almost half of Hispanic children in the state.

Improving the ECE environment may directly impact what children consume and how active they are, as well as help them develop healthy habits for life. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed a framework for obesity prevention in the ECE setting, which includes Pre-Service & Professional Development as a key opportunity within this sector.

In 2013 Healthy Living Matters and Collaborative for Children conducted a survey of Harris County-area ECE professionals, asking them to list barriers to healthy eating and physical activity. Lack of training on physical education was listed as a key barrier. Additionally, a study of ECE programs participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) found that the availability of training was directly related to enhanced nutrition in their meal programs.  As it relates to availability, the most recent TECPDS report found that only 38 trainings listed on the Texas Trainer Registry could be easily identified as covering content in obesity prevention.

In working together to make sure that these opportunities for quality training exist, we are providing children with a greater likelihood to be at a healthy weight and prevent chronic diseases, as well as improve academic success and classroom behaviors. 

We hope that you fill out the boxes below and join us in committing to making a difference in the lives of the young children of Texas!

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I endorse this Call to Action and commit to providing and promoting quality training opportunities in obesity prevention:

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* I understand that printing my name in the comment box confirms that I acknowledge and agree to the stated commitment.