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Obesity Prevention Expert Toni Yancey to Speak at Pomona College

Instant Recess book cover

Public health educator and doctor Toni Yancey, known for her work on chronic disease and obesity prevention, adolescent health and physical activity promotion, will give a lecture on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 p.m. at Pomona College’s Edmunds Building Room 101 (185 E. 6th St., Claremont).

Yancey’s book Instant Recess: Building a Fit Nation: 10 Minutes at a Time (2010) proposes regular 10-minute exercise breaks that are easily incorporated into school, work and community life, rather than typical break activities that encourage unhealthful habits like cigarette smoking, high-fat or high-sugar snacks and soda consumption. For these short healthy breaks, she suggests gathering groups of people to take a brisk walk around the school or work grounds for 10 minutes twice a day.

“These short bouts of activity can spill over to the rest of a person’s life,” she said in a New York Times article. “Once people feel more fit and better about themselves, they are more likely to engage in moderate to vigorous physical activity during their leisure time.”

As part of her commitment to combatting childhood obesity and encouraging healthier lifestyles, Yancey is on the board of Partnership for a Healthier America, which supports First Lady Michelle Obama’s national “Let’s Move” campaign. Yancey is also involved with “Let’s Move LA,” spearheaded by the First African Methodist Episcopal Church of Los Angeles.

“The threat of childhood obesity to the health of our children and the health of our nation has never been greater. For the first time in our history, the United States is raising a generation of children who may live sicker, shorter lives than their parents,” Yancey writes.

Yancey is a professor in the Department of Health Services at UCLA School of Public Health and co-director of the UCLA Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Equity. She serves on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Standing Committee on Childhood Obesity Prevention and the National Physical Activity Plan Coordinating Committee. Among other publications, she has contributed to Preventive Medicine and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

This event is part of the Intercollegiate Department of Africana Studies Speaker Series. For more information, contact: (909) 607-3070 or

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts colleges, provides its students with a challenging curriculum in the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences, and fine arts, and an unsurpassed environment for intellectual inquiry and growth. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.