Children’s Health: Aviva Must Advocates Shared Responsibility

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By Carly Chaapel

On Thursday, June 28, the Worldwatch Institute’s Nourishing the Planet project and the Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition will release Eating Planet–Nutrition Today: A Challenge for Mankind and for the Planet in New York City. Today, Nourishing the Planet highlights a contributing author of Eating Planet, and shares his views on how to fix the broken food system. Tune in on the 28th via livestream: we will be taking questions in real time from the audience, from the livestream, and from Twitter and Facebook.

Must calls for shared responsibility for children’s health. (Photo credit: Barilla CFN)

Aviva Must, professor of Public Health and Community Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, has conducted extensive research on the effects of obesity on adolescents and pregnant women. In the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s new book, Eating Planet–Nutrition today: A challenge for Mankind and for the Planet, she describes the importance of shared responsibility, obesity prevention, and commitment from the agrifood industry for children’s health. Healthful eating habits, she believes, should be encouraged by not only parents, but also schools and health care providers. Action now to promote healthy lifestyles in the youngest children will help alleviate childhood obesity and serious health problems in the future.

Parents are the first people to take responsibility for their children’s health. They control the at-home food selection and dining rules, as well as encourage kids to engage in organized sports and free play. Must describes how “it is useful to think about child feeding as a shared responsibility, with parents responsible for serving food that is healthy and appetizing and children responsible for how much of it is eaten.”