6 Big Questions on CDC’s New BMI Charts to Measure Severe Obesity in Children


Definition of BMI

The CDC recently revised Body Mass Index (BMI) charts for children to help healthcare providers better track growth in children and identify “severe obesity.” Before the update, BMI charts for children did not go above 37. The revised charts extend to a BMI of 60 to account for the rise of severe obesity in children ages 2-20, according to the CDC. Now clinicians can more easily see whether a child’s BMI falls within the range of underweight, ideal weight, overweight, obese, or severely obese, based on a percentile measured against other children of the same age and gender, according to CNBC and healthline.com. A BMI higher than 95% of kids of the same age and gender is defined as obese. Severe obesity is a BMI 120% higher than the 95th percentile, ...

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Comente Ahora: ¡Apoye los Cambios en los Alimentos de WIC!


Latino mother & daughter grocery shopping.

Usted puede comentar ahora sobre las nuevas revisiones del paquete de alimentos del Programa Especial de Nutrición Complementaria para Mujeres, Bebés y Niños (WIC por sus siglas en inglés), propuestas por el Departamento de Agricultura de los Estados Unidos (USDA, por sus siglas en inglés) que tienen como objetivo mejorar la nutrición y promover y apoyar la lactancia materna. Los cambios propuestos, basados en las recomendaciones científicas de un informe de 2017 de las Academias Nacionales de Ciencias, Ingeniería y Medicina (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine), incluyen: Mejorar el poder de compra de frutas y verduras. Aumentar la cantidad de los alimentos menos consumidos. Más opciones para los patrones alimenticios culturales. Capacidad ...

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4 Ways to Eliminate Childhood Obesity


Latino students enjoying lunch.

Childhood obesity is not only common for U.S. children, it’s a global epidemic. How can communities address this issue? A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), Meeting the Moment: Learning From Leaders at the Forefront of Change, asked community leaders and researchers to share their experiences in hopes of better understanding and preventing childhood obesity. “It is you who get out there every day and innovate, renovate, and motivate the field to keep going, keep trying, keep striving,” said Jamie Bussel, senior program officer for the RWJF. Let’s explore four key areas community leaders can eliminate childhood obesity! 1. Improve Health Data Accurate health data is important. For instance, we know Latino adults have higher obesity rates ...

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Isabella Jimenez Brings ‘My Fun Food’ to Your Phone, Kitchen



Isabella Jimenez is a Latina on a mission for health. At age 12, she had an idea for an app that serves as a digital cookbook where young people can learn to cook easy, healthy recipes and find tips in trivia games. She worked hard preparing recipes, creating and testing an app, and securing funding. At age 16, she launched the My Fun Food app. Now age 18, Isabella is an entrepreneur studying business at UT Austin and taking the My Fun Food app – which has a 5.0 rating in the Apple Store – to new levels. “The main purpose of the app is to provide a resource to the community,” Isabella said. “All the recipes are cost efficient, fast and quick, and easy to make.” Let’s explore what’s new since the last time Salud America! caught up with Isabella! Isabella: ...

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Comment Now: Support the WIC Food Changes!


Latino mother & daughter grocery shopping.

You can comment now on the USDA’s new proposed revisions to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) food packages that aim to improve nutrition and promote and support breastfeeding. Proposed changes, based on scientific recommendations from a 2017 report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, include: Enhanced buying power for fruits, vegetables. Increased foods consumed less in adequacy, amount. More options for cultural eating patterns. Ability to get the quantity of formula to support any level of breastfeeding. Requiring all breakfast cereals to meet the whole grain-rich standards that already apply to school nutrition programs and the Child and Adult Care Food Program. USDA is seeking ...

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Food Marketing Companies Add More to Blacks’ and Latinos’ Plates


food advertising

US food and beverage companies disproportionately target Black and Latino consumers with advertising for high-calorie, low-nutrient products, including candy, sugary drinks, and snacks, according to a new study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy & Health at the University of Connecticut. This targeted advertising has been a problem for years and is consistent with findings from other studies and reports, including the recent US Access to Nutrition Index 2022. The millions of dollars companies spend on targeted marketing contributes to inequities in diet-related diseases in communities of color, including heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. “Companies express how much they respect the culture and concerns of Black and Hispanic communities, but at the same time, they appear ...

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The Results Are In: How Nutritious Is Food in the US?


Healthy Food

The nation’s largest food and drink companies are “not making adequate progress” on their promises to make, market, and sell healthy food and drinks, according to the the U.S. Access to Nutrition Index 2022. The index, published by the Access to Nutrition Initiative (ATNI), evaluates the companies’ on the healthiness of their products and their nutrition-related commitments, policies, and disclosures. None of the 11 largest companies had more than 49% of sales from healthier products. “While all companies have placed a greater focus on nutrition in their corporate strategies since the first index was released in 2018, their actual products have not become healthier, and they are not making sufficient efforts to safeguard children from the marketing of unhealthy ...

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“No Child Should Go to Bed Hungry”: White House Takes Action on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health


Collage of Conference

The Biden-Harris Administration announced its goal to eliminate hunger in America, improve diet and physical activity, and reduce diet-related disease by 2030 during the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health on Sept. 28, 2022 – the first such conference in over 50 years. The goal is based on five pillars of strategic action: Improve food access and affordability. Integrate nutrition and health. Empower all consumers to make and have access to healthy choices. Support physical activity for all. Enhance nutrition and food security research. President Joe Biden also shared three foundational principles for the goal. “Help more Americans access the food that will keep their families nourished and healthy, lot of food deserts out there. Second, ...

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Reframing Childhood Obesity Through a Cultural Lens


Latino family eating dinner.

In the last few years, childhood obesity has become a global epidemic. The effort to change individual choices – like diet and physical activity – hasn’t solved the problem, and also contributes to weight discrimination. That is why we need to use cultural insights, nutritional science, and a systemic focus to improve child health, according to a new report from the Vanderbilt University Cultural Context of Health and Wellbeing Initiative. “What we label ‘obesity’ is produced by interrelated systems in which human biology interacts with environments, social norms, economic structures, and historical legacies,” according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation blog post about the report, Reframing Childhood Obesity: Cultural Insights on Nutrition, Weight and Food ...

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