There’s more to ending childhood obesity than ‘Eat Less, Walk More’

July 10, 2013, EducationWeek.org

By Ross Brenneman

The American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation held a joint conference in Washington yesterday about fighting obesity in America. The conference, “Signs of Progress,” highlighted 11 areas in the United States with declining obesity rates, with teams of panelists and keynote speakers brought in from those places to discuss successes.

The “why” of the conference is plain and simple: Obesity is an epidemic. Physicians now classify it as a disease. Two-thirds of the United States is overweight. According to a June 2013 United Nations report, among populous nations, the United States trails only Mexico in adult obesity rates, and that itself is only a recent development. Continue reading

American Heart Association Voices for Healthy Kids’ Request for Award

BACKGROUND
Over the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups.  Today, nearly one-third of children and adolescents in the United States are either overweight or obese. Obese and overweight children and adolescents are more likely to become obese adults, placing them at increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and certain forms of cancer.

The American Heart Association (AHA) together with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) are working to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015 and to decrease racial, ethnic, and income disparities in prevalence. Through our Voices for Healthy Kids’ Strategic Campaign Fund, the AHA is targeting the following six state, local and tribal advocacy priorities: Continue reading

Infographic details ‘what works to get kids active’

A new infographic by Active Living Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), shows the estimated amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, in minutes, that children could get from several distinct school and community policy changes. A combination of these can help kids meet the national recommendation of daily physical activity. Continue reading

Food and beverage marketing to children and adolescents: Limited progress by 2012, recommendations for the future

For decades, American children and adolescents have been surrounded by advertising and marketing for unhealthy foods and beverages. While the food and beverage industry, as well as local and national levels of government, have started to recognize the role that food and beverage marketing plays in driving the childhood obesity epidemic, American youths are still exposed to a disproportionate amount of marketing for unhealthy products across a variety of media.

This research review from Healthy Eating Research, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, summarizes the academic and industry literature on trends in food marketing to children and adolescents, as well as policy initiatives undertaken to address the contribution of marketing practices to the childhood obesity epidemic, from March 2011 to May 2012. Policy implications and future research needs are also highlighted. Continue reading

RWJF awards grants to help reverse childhood obesity epidemic

Jan. 16, 2013, The Wall Street Journal

Six national associations have received a total of $1.8 million in grants from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help communities increase children’s access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.

The grants were awarded through Leadership for Healthy Communities, an RWJF national program that assists state and local leaders in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The associations were selected because their members are uniquely positioned to work across multiple levels of government and across intra-governmental agencies and departments to eliminate barriers to healthy eating and active living in schools and communities. Continue reading

Communities take steps to fight childhood obesity

Jan. 9, 2013, Chicago Tribune

By Kay Manning

A 2005 study led by a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago came to a startling conclusion about the effects of childhood obesity: This generation of American children may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.

With 12.5 million U.S. children and adolescents considered obese, the average life span of all children could be lowered by up to five years, the study said. The fact that another 10.5 million children are considered overweight wasn’t factored into the study. Continue reading

AJPM launches a second round of the Childhood Obesity Challenge

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJMP) in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has launched a second round of the Childhood Obesity Challenge — an online competition for innovators of all backgrounds to submit promising solutions the childhood obesity epidemic.

Round 2 seeks submissions focusing on innovative policies aimed at reducing childhood obesity, as well as strategies for getting these policies adopted and applied to schools, institutions, municipalities, or other organizations. Continue reading

Event to highlight findings from ‘F as in Fat’

Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) will release their ninth annual “F as in Fat” report next week. There will be a Hill briefing for congressional staff and other interested parties on Mon., Sept. 24, from 9:30-10:30 a.m. to highlight key findings of “F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America’s Future.” Continue reading

HIA: Students more likely to buy healthier lunches if there are nutritional standards for snacks, drinks

June 26, 2012, Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project News Release

Updating national nutrition standards for snack foods and beverages sold in schools could help students maintain a healthy weight and increase food service revenue, according to a health impact assessment (HIA) released today by the Kids’ Safe & Healthful Foods Project and the Health Impact Project.

The findings come as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prepares to issue policies requiring that food and beverages sold outside of federal school meal programs meet minimum nutrition standards. Continue reading