Fighting Childhood Obesity in a Jewish Community

Maureen R. Benjamins

in Urban Health

Published in print November 2010 | ISBN: 9780199731190
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199866465 | DOI:
Fighting Childhood Obesity in a Jewish Community

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Inspired by the power of having specific health data for one's own community, leaders of the Jewish community in Chicago undertook the steps necessary to conduct a similar survey within the most densely populated Jewish neighbourhoods. This unique survey, the Jewish Community Health Survey of West Rogers Park and Peterson Park identified many health issues within the community. Of these, childhood obesity was selected by community members as the most important problem to address because it was found to affect a large percentage of children and because it foreshadowed serious health consequences for the future. This chapter presents additional details about childhood obesity in this community, including age and gender differences and possible determinants. It then describes the rates among children in Jewish day schools in Chicago. This intervention, the Jewish Day School Wellness Initiative, has produced substantial changes within the schools and students of the Associated Talmud Torah school system over a four-year intervention period.

Keywords: childhood obesity; health programmes; community health; public health; obesity prevention; Jewish community; age differences; gender differences

Chapter.  11106 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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