iSMA News Desk

Managed by Julie Hentz and Nathaly Aya

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The WHO Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity, July 2nd Meeting Update

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls childhood obesity, “one of the most serious public health challenges of the 21st century.”

WHO states that the problem is global and is steadily affecting many low- and middle-income countries, particularly in urban areas. The prevalence has increased at an alarming rate, globally affecting over 42 million children, the largest percent of whom love in developing countries. Prevention of childhood obesity is a high priority for WHO.

The WHO definition of prevalence of overweight for children is one standard deviation body mass index for age and sex, and for obese, two standard deviations body mass index for age and sex.

To address this pressing need, the WHO formed the Commission on Ending Childhood Obesity. The Eastern Mediterranean Region of the Commission met on July 2, 2015 in Cairo, Egypt for a one-day consultation. Nine member states were represented by national program managers for nutrition, non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and education. Regional Commissioners were also participating as were NGOs. The day’s work centered around six questions in the current Interim Report, where Member States addressed the questions in the areas of policy options, implementation and monitoring and accountability.

Plans were discussed to integrate obesity care into primary health care, preconception given the pressing refugee and economic situations in many countries. There is much interest in moving forward with the proposed policy options with some countries formulating plans with specific targets to tackle childhood obesity.
These efforts will move the WHO to support improved nutritional guidelines, practice and policy as it is known that:

  • Healthy nutrition strengthens the learning potential and well-being of children and adolescents.
  • Healthy nutrition contributes to decreasing the risk of today's leading health problems in children and adolescents (including obesity, cardiovascular diseases, cancer and eating disorders).
  • Healthy nutrition in early life enables healthy adulthood and ageing.

A draft final report of the results of the July 2nd will be available for comment in August.  Participants were encouraged to submit written comments online.


Quotes from WHO on Childhood Overweight and Obesity,

The Interim Report on Ending Childhood Obesity,

20 by 20 Initiative - Second consultation in Namibia


UNFPA, in collaboration with the World Bank, RHSC, USAID and ILO, invites to the 2nd meeting of the “20 by 20” initiative – 20 billion condoms in low – and middle-income countries by 2020 – which will take place 20-23 October 2015 in Windhoek, Namibia.

The aim of this second workshop is to identify other potential partners, gauge the potential size of the condom market in Sub-Saharan Africa, select countries that would be most appropriate for the 20 by 20 initiative, and set targets and timelines.

This is an important endeavor and it is important that the social marketing community attends, especially professionals involved in African operations and in guiding the condom promotion community.

The workshop is free of charge.

Registration deadline: September 18, 2015

For further information please email [email protected]

To read "20 by 20 initiative" save the date, click here.

Tools for Personal Health Promotion Interventions Using Telephone and Web-based Technologies


On 27 March 2015, the Queensland Parliament (Australia) referred an inquiry into Personal Health Promotion Interventions using Telephone and Web-based Technologies to the Health and Ambulance Services Commitee for consideration. A key aim of the inquiry was to find evidence for the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health coaching interventions to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce weight.

The present report covers telephone and web-based coaching interventions for increasing physical activity, improving nutrition and reducing weight; using telephone and web-based technologies. It focuses on the following areas.

  • Evidence for the effectiveness and cost effectiveness of health coaching interventions to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and reduce weight
  • Current interventions in Queensland
  • Experience in other jurisdictions
  • Recommendations for success
  • Potential opportunities for collaboration and cooperation

To access the report click here.

Authors from Queensland University of Technology:

  • Professor Rebekah Russell-Bennett
  • Professor Judy Drennan
  • Rory Mulcahy
  • Associate Professor Daniel Johnson
  • Professor Marcus Foth, Professor Neil King

Publisher: Government of Queensland (Health and Ambulance Services Committee)

Postdoctoral positions USF

University of South Florida College of Public Health - Department of Community and Family Health - Maternal and Child Health Postdoctoral Fellows

The University of South Florida is a metropolitan institution located in Tampa, Florida. USF offers comprehensive programs in public health, medicine, pharmacy, nursing, allied health sciences, business, engineering, arts and sciences, education, social work, and creative arts. USF offers unique opportunities for collaboration and research around the world but particularly with institutions in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Tampa Bay area is a dynamic and growing metropolitan area of over two million residents that offers a wide range of cultural, artistic, athletic, and recreational activities, excellent public schools, close proximity to Gulf of Mexico beaches and an affordable cost of living.

The USF College of Public Health was founded in 1984. The College consists of five departments and numerous federally funded research centers. The Department of Community and Family Health offers fully-accredited degree programs leading to the MPH, MSPH, DrPH, and PhD degree. Major academic concentration areas in the department include public health education, maternal and child health and behavioral health. Departmental centers and faculty research interests are profiled on the department website at The Department offers a collegial and supportive work environment.  The Department has close collaborative research and teaching relationships with the other departments in the College of Public Health and with numerous colleges across the University Campus.

The University of South Florida College of Public Health (USF COPH), Department of Community and Family Health (CFH) is recruiting for two postdoctoral fellows to contribute to the department’s research and teaching needs in maternal and child health (MCH) and to become prepared for MCH faculty positions and MCH leadership  positions at the national and state levels.  These are two-year fellowships funded through the Center of Excellence in Maternal and Child Health Education, Science, and Practice, with particular foci on research pertaining to child health, maternal/infant health, women’s health, sexual health, family/community violence and unintentional injury.    There is specific interest in recruiting individuals from racially/ethnically diverse backgrounds in addition to disadvantaged backgrounds.  The USF COPH houses the only MCH concentration in any School/College of Public Health in the state and is a recognized leader in the field.

Minimum Qualifications: 

1. Doctoral degree in maternal and child health, social/behavioral sciences, epidemiology, public health, or a closely related field to be earned prior to hiring date;

2.  A publication record in peer-reviewed journals of recognized excellence; and

3.  Teaching experience (may be as a teaching assistant or in another instructional capacity)

Preferred Qualifications:

1.  A defined research focus including (but not limited to) child health, maternal/infant health, women’s health, sexual health, family/community violence and injury;

2.  Skillsets in MCH practice/policy development, social marketing, health education, epidemiology, quality improvement, health literacy, translational research, and or new technology;

3.  Established record of scholarly research, including extramural funding, and;

4.  Enthusiasm for teaching and graduate student advising.

Position begins onsite January 1, 2016.

Responsibilities:  Fellows will be mentored by matched research faculty and develop leadership plans for professional growth, collaborate with other postdoctoral MCH research fellows nationwide in a Postdoctoral Fellow Consortium, and participate/lead classes and seminars in addition to having the opportunity to enroll in certificate programs.  Fellows will teach two graduate classes per year and be expected to further their research by developing grant proposals with faculty and publishing in the peer-reviewed literature.

Closing Date: Position will remain open until filled. Review of applications will begin August 15, 2015.

Salary & Benefits: Nationally competitive salary with excellent benefits.

To apply: Candidates must complete an online application to be considered for this position. Please visit to access the careers job posting 7819. Applicants should submit a curriculum vitae (CV) and a cover letter indicating how minimum and preferred qualifications are met. Unofficial graduate education transcripts and a list of five references will also be required. An employment background check is required.

Affirmative Action: According to Florida law, search records, including applications and search committee meetings, are open to the public. The University of South Florida is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Equal Access institution. Applicants who need disability accommodations in order to participate in the selection process should notify Ms. Lisa Sleek, Staff Assistant, of the Department of Community and Family Health at the College of Public Health at 813.396.9103 or TDD 813/974-2218 at least five working days in advance of need.

USF is an equal opportunity, equal access academic institution that embraces diversity in the workplace.
Next World Social Marketing Conference
Written by Nathaly Aya Pastrana   


The 5th World Social Marketing Conference will take place in Washington D.C, USA in April 2017. Date and venue details will be announced in September 2015. If you want to recommend a keynote speaker or are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting, please email to [email protected] In the meantime for information you can click here.

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