Childhood Obesity and Cities

May 17, 2010 | Hunter College, Newsmakers

Solutions to the growing epidemic of childhood obesity must be linked to the urban areas in which the children live, according to Nicholas Freudenberg, director of the Doctor of Public Health Program at the CUNY School of Public Health at Hunter College. “Increasingly, more of the world’s population live in cities and, last year, for the first time, more than half the world’s population lived in a city,” a number expected to rise to more than 70 percent by 2030, he said. In an interview discussing a CUNY-London Metropolitan University joint study on childhood obesity, which he co-authored, Prof. Freudenberg said childhood obesity cases, and resulting chronic diseases like diabetes, have more than doubled in the U.S. in the past 25 years. “If we could figure out both the causes and the solutions of the problem in the world’s wealthiest cities (New York and London), then we might learn things that would benefit other cities as well.”
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