September 2010 marked the first Childhood Obesity Awareness Month – a month designated by Congress to draw attention to what has become a national epidemic. This effort was led by U.S. Representative Marcia Fudge and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. Now, three years later we will look at what schools and school districts are doing to combat the childhood obesity issue, and the role Congress can play in reversing this unhealthy trend.

Distinguished speakers include:

  • Jennifer Ohlson, Documentary film producer from Austin, Texas. Her documentary, Health Needs a Hero, chronicles the journey of a Hispanic teenager as she struggles to get fit enough to join the Air Force. Jennifer will discuss the realities her film exposed and the changes it helped ignite throughout Texas.
  • Irene Cucina, Professor and Assistant Department Chair of health and physical education, Plymouth State University, and Past President of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). From lessons learned from the AAHPERD/American Heart Association’s 2012 Shape of the Nation Report to those being taught at colleges of education and in classrooms across the country, Professor Cucina will look at the issue of childhood obesity from an educator’s perspective.
  • Harold (Bill) Kohl, III, Ph.D., M.S.P.H., Professor of epidemiology and kinesiology at the University of Texas Health Science Center-Houston. Dr. Kohl was the chair of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on Physical Activity and Physical Education in the School Environment, which authored the May 2013 report, Educating the Student Body: Taking Physical Activity and Physical Education to School. In the report, IOM recommends designating physical education as a core subject to help combat childhood obesity.
  • Jasmyne Jackson, Second-year HealthCorps Coordinator at the Ginn Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. As a HealthCorps Coordinator, Jasmyne supplements her school’s health and wellness program through in- school and after-school activities providing students with health lessons for a lifetime.