We have good news in Massachusetts that validates the important work done by many of us in the fight to reverse childhood obesity (“Obesity rate drops for Mass. children,” Page A1, Oct. 17). I am proud of the efforts by diverse stakeholders throughout the state — scientists, health care providers, policy makers, public health officials, community and business leaders, educators, and parents — to ensure that healthier environments and policies for children growing up in Massachusetts are the norm.
As an academic researcher, I have conducted obesity prevention research with children across the Commonwealth to expand the base of evidence upon which strong policies can be enacted. We now see that statewide efforts to reshape environments pay off in the short term, and eventually we will appreciate the longer term impact on the health of our society.
At Tufts University, we have formed ChildObesity180, an organization working to blend the evidence base with innovation from the private sector so that effective strategies can be scaled up nationwide. We must all stay the course, reach deeper to address disparities, and resist the temptation to declare victory with the first signs of progress.
The writer is vice chairwoman and director of ChildObesity180 and an associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.