BU Sargent College Nutrition Professor Named Spokesperson for the American Heart Association’s Childhood Obesity Initiative
Contact: Pamela Powell, (617) 353-0197 | email@example.com
(Boston) – Paula A. Quatromoni, D.Sc., M.S., R.D., assistant professor of nutrition at Boston University (BU) Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, was recently named spokesperson on childhood obesity for the American Heart Association.
With rates of childhood obesity rising at an unprecedented pace, Quatromoni believes it is more important than ever to establish collaborative initiatives with the Heart Association to address this emerging public health problem.
“Today, about 16 percent of all children and teens in the United States are overweight. This is four times as many as 40 years ago,” she said. “Overweight kids have about a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults, increasing their risk of heart disease, diabetes and psycho-social conditions such as depression and disordered eating.”
Quatromoni will work with the Heart Association to raise awareness through the media and promote programs aimed at reducing childhood obesity. She is specifically proud to stand behind the Association’s Alliance for a Healthier Generation, a joint venture with the cable television network Nickelodeon and the Clinton Foundation, established by former president Bill Clinton. The Alliance is designed to empower children and their families to live healthier lifestyles and to embrace both good nutrition and physical activity in their daily lives. New this fall, the Heart Association published a cookbook, “Healthy Recipes Kids Love,” a terrific resource to get children excited about healthy eating and parents interacting in a creatively fun way with children over food. More recently, Nickelodeon aired “Let’s Just Play,” a special hosted by Clinton and Linda Ellerbee, that focused on children taking control of their diets and health.
As a nutrition researcher at Boston University, Quatromoni is the director of KidSTEPS, a study of eating behavior and physical activity among school-aged children designed to guide the development of programs and resources to slow the rate of weight gain among children. So far, KidSTEPS has discovered that children’s physical activity levels vary notably by gender and also by time of the year, suggesting that more creative opportunities and innovative strategies are needed for boys and girls to get active and stay active throughout all seasons of the year.
“As a nutrition professional and a parent of school-age children, I am committed to the mission set forth by the American Heart Association and its partners to teach children and their families how to make choices that will improve their personal health,” Quatromoni said.
Quatromoni is also an investigator with the Framingham Heart Study where her research focuses on diet and its relationship to weight gain and obesity in adults.
Boston University (BU) Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is an institution of higher education, research and clinical centers whose premier academic programs prepare dynamic health professionals and whose research and leadership in the health and rehabilitation sciences is actively shaping health care. BU Sargent College is the only private institution in the country offering five nationally ranked graduate programs in health and rehabilitation sciences. For more information and to learn about degree programs in physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, language and hearing sciences, health science, athletic training, nutrition, and rehabilitation counseling, visit http://www.bu.edu/sargent.
Since 1924, the American Heart Association has helped protect people of all ages and ethnicities from the ravages of heart disease and stroke. These diseases, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers, claim nearly 930,000 American lives a year. The association invested more than $439 million in fiscal year 2003–04 for research, professional and public education, advocacy, and community service programs so people across America can live stronger, longer lives.