In the United States there is a prevalence of obesity among ethnic groups, especially African American girls. The author in this column examines through an ecological lens selected American federal, state, and city policies and program interventions aimed at reducing obesity. Specifically, the eating behavior of African American girls is discussed as a population subset for which significant gaps are present in current obesity policy and implementation. Policy recommendations should include parents as research has shown a significant relationship in the eating behaviors of African American girls and their parents. Opportunities for nurses in practice and research to test the effectiveness of family and community level policy and program initiatives that address the ecological perspectives of the adolescent environment are discussed. © The Author(s) 2013.
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