Los Angeles, Calif. (July 27, 2010) – U.S. Congressman Mike Honda, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, today joined other members of CAPAC, and the Congressional Black and Hispanic Caucuses, at the 8th annual health disparities summit, hosted this year by the University of Southern California. This year’s summit is entitled “Childhood Obesity: A Call to Action.”
“I congratulate USC for organizing this successful event highlighting health disparities that exist within communities of color,” said Honda. “Not only do language barriers prevent our communities from accessing healthcare, we also need to collect better data on our communities, including better data on childhood obesity.”
Within Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, 29.2 percent of adults are overweight, and over two thirds, or 68.4 percent, of Pacific Islanders in the US are overweight or obese. Asians also have a 60 percent higher rate of Type II diabetes than whites of the same Body Mass Index (BMI). Despite this existing data, childhood obesity among AAPIs is not widely recognized.
At the summit, hundreds of community leaders, health organizations, and researchers join Audrey Rowe, Deputy Administrator of the Special Nutrition Programs at the US Department of Agriculture, and distinguished panelists to address the causes and impacts of childhood obesity, present innovative and successful interventions, and potential policy solutions for this epidemic.
“Failing to address these problems now will produce greater health risks for our children in the future, and generate greater costs on our health care system,” said Honda. “I am proud to join my Tri-Caucus colleagues to highlight these gaps, and find solutions to address this epidemic.”
US Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo, chair of CAPAC’s Health Care Task Force also participated in today’s summit to address childhood obesity.
“The health disparities summit addresses the critical issues facing ethnic and racial minority communities in this country,” said Bordallo. “As Chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, I understand the importance of reaching shared goals and principles to address the full spectrum of health disparity issues in our country. I am confident that this summit will continue to build on the progress that we have made in the 111th Congress, and I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress and with the Obama Administration on these important issues that affect all Americans residing in the fifty states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Territories.”
The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Since 1994, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life. For more information on CAPAC, please call 202-225-2631 or visit http://www.honda.house.gov/capac.