Dr. Suglia recently attended the Networks of Opportunity for Child Wellbeing (NOW) Convening, where she presented her work on the neighborhood social environment and obesity prevention. To effectively prevent obesity in the US, this work proposes that rather than continue to solely focus on the built environment, integrating constructs of the social environment into neighborhood health research would be a more fruitful approach for the prevention of obesity in the US.
NOW aims to develop an infrastructure to support all children entering kindergarten at a healthy weight, using a framework that considers the impact of childhood adversity on wellness and promoting strategies to cultivate community settings to optimally support child wellbeing. The convening, which brought together health care providers, breastfeeding advocates, pediatricians, nutritionists and epidemiologists among others was partly supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Vital Village Network at Boston Medical Center. In addition to discussing her work on the neighborhood social environment, Dr. Suglia also shared her work on childhood adversity and child obesity, which notes a differential gender effect of childhood adversities on childhood obesity. Girls experiencing high levels of adversity in childhood are at increased risk of being obese by age 5, though the same effect is not noted among boys. The discussion was captured by a graphic artist from Crowley & Co.