Massachusetts Health Policy Forum

Overweight and Obesity in Massachusetts: A Focus on Physical Activity

Forum held on May 16, 2012

Childhood obesity continues to be a major concern for the nation and for the state of Massachusetts.  But while a number of efforts are underway to address the problem, Massachusetts is still one of six states to see an increase in obesity rates for the second year in a row. Even worse, the Commonwealth ranks dead last with the lowest percentage of high school students who get the recommended sixty minutes of physical activity daily. The battle against obesity requires addressing both nutrition and physical activity, but less attention has been paid to physical activity, despite evidence linking it to improved health and academic success. At the forum we discussed why our children are not physically active, and the associated health costs and consequences. We examined best practices and potential solutions, and heard key stakeholder and policymaker reactions. This forum was made possible by generous grants from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, and The Boston Foundation.


Issue Brief

Conference Findings