USC Environmental Health Centers to Host Parks, Pollution and Obesity Convening: April 17, 2017

The USC Environmental Health Centers (SCEHSC, SC-CEHC, MADRES) will be hosting a spring convening on April 17, 2017.  The event will focus on the issues of Parks, Pollution and Obesity with a closer look at the interface between community needs for green space and physical activity, the potential exposure to pollution in these spaces, and the role that pollution plays in risk for obesity and diabetes.

Organizations that are co-hosting the convening include:

Obesity is a public health problem of epidemic proportions in California. In Los Angeles County the prevalence of obesity is strongly associated with economic hardship, that is, working poor and communities of color are the most heavily burdened by obesity. It is these same communities that face the highest cumulative burden of environmental pollution and the least park space per capita. Increasingly, scientific evidence suggests that exposure to “obesogens” or chemicals that disrupt normal metabolism and promote obesity. Urban air pollution as well as toxic metals have been linked to development of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

“Answering the questions posed for this convening are critical to the well-being of our children’s grandchildren.  Please join this multidisciplinary dialog to begin to develop innovative approaches to this wicked problem,” said Frank Gilliland, director of the Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center (SCEHSC).

“Parks and green space have been shown to have broad health benefits to users, in addition to promoting exercise. However, exercise in close proximity to major roadways results in exposure to air pollution that is likely to reduce the health benefits of exercise. With the approval of Measure A, Los Angeles has a historic opportunity to invest in parks, cited and developed to maximize health benefits,” said Rob McConnell, director of the Southern California Children’s Environmental Health Center (SC-CEHC).

April 17, 2017 • 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
The California Endowment
1000 Alameda St., LA 90012

Plenary Sessions: 
Diabetes, obesity and the link to air pollution
“Greening” environmental justice communities:
Addressing incompatible land-use in Los Angeles

Poster Session:
Community perspectives: Taking action for healthy communities

Wilmington Waterfront Park (Jill Johnston/USC)

Concurrent Workshops:
Air pollution, traffic and exercise
Redesign good movements corridors for green space & active transportation
Growing healthy food in contaminated places

Sign up here.