Over recent decades, obesity has become an issue of increasing complexity. Obesity can complicate existing health problems and create increased risks for certain chronic health conditions. Early childhood obesity prevention can help promote child health and reduce risk factors that contribute to chronic illnesses among adults.
In 2018, 34% of the adult population in North Carolina was obese, and an additional 35.6% of people were overweight. Obesity is not a health condition limited to adults or older children. In fact, the national prevalence of obesity among children aged 2–5 years was 13.4% in 2017–2018.
At the request of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation (BCBSNC Foundation), in 2013 the North Carolina Institute of Medicine (NCIOM) convened a task force to develop a multifaceted plan to prevent and reduce early childhood obesity in North Carolina. The NCIOM Task Force on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention (ECOP) was a collaborative effort between the BCBSNC Foundation, the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), and the NCIOM.
The Task Force on Early Childhood Obesity Prevention was charged with:
1) Examining evidence-based and evidence-informed strategies from prior North Carolina and national task forces that focus on reducing childhood obesity.
2) Developing a blueprint to prevent or reduce early childhood obesity in North Carolina.
The progress update describes progress on the recommendations of the ECOP Task Force to date alongside the original recommendations in bold.