Join The Root, Experts to Talk Black Obesity

White House official Sam Kass is among the policy and medical notables speaking on July 13 in D.C.

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(The Root) -- It's a very hot summer in the nation's capital, but The Root's focus on weight loss and fitness this month has nothing to do with the fact that it's beach season. Our Black, Fit, & Healthy Series is about something more serious than dropping pounds for vanity's sake: It's a commitment to understand and tackle the African-American obesity crisis, its complex causes and its implications for the health of our community.

We know the numbers: More than 60 percent of Americans are either overweight or obese, leading to higher risks of developing many ailments and shortening our lives. And for African Americans the situation is dire: Nearly four out of five black women are considered to be overweight or obese, and in general, blacks are 1.5 times as likely as non-Hispanic whites to be obese. Not to mention, more than 22 percent of our youths between the ages of 6 and 17 are obese, 30 percent more than non-Hispanic whites in that age range.

But what about the solutions? On July 13 in Washington, D.C., The Root will present our Black, Fit, & Healthy Series Focus on Obesity Conference. We're turning it over to medical and policy professionals and health experts who have long-standing commitments to addressing this issue and innovative ideas about how to do so. We’d like you to join us this Friday for the event, which is free to the public.

Sam Kass, the White House's assistant chef and senior policy adviser for healthy initiatives, will deliver the keynote address.

Attendees will have access to a screening of the childhood-obesity segment of HBO's The Weight of the Nation and will enjoy a healthy, organic breakfast and lunch by the Catering Company of Washington.

Panelists including former member of Congress and former Oakland, Calif., Mayor Ron Dellums; former Trenton, N.J. Mayor Douglas Palmer; President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition Outreach Director Lauren Darensbourg; Black Women's Health Imperative President Eleanor Hinton Hoytt; health writer Sheree Crute; and others will discuss topics ranging from healthier community planning to strategies for narrowing health disparities to ways that schools can help kids get started early with healthy habits. The panelists will take questions from the audience, and together we'll move the dialogue forward and share solutions.

When: Friday, July 13, 2012, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

Where: The Washington Post
1150 15th St. NW
Washington, DC 20071

More information about the event is available at events.signup4.com/obesity. Join us in our commitment to Focus on Obesity by completing your free registration here.

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