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For Immediate Release: July 29, 2009
Contact: CDC Division of Media Relations
(404) 639-3286



CDC Recognizes Innovative Obesity Prevention and Control Initiatives with Weight of the Nation Awards

Eight organizations were awarded the Pioneering Innovation Award today at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Weight of the Nation Conference in Washington, D.C. These organizations are being recognized for their work in advancing policies and environmental strategies to prevent and control obesity.

With rising rates of obesity in adults, particularly those from certain racial and ethnic groups, the CDC recognizes the need for a variety of approaches to impact this growing epidemic.

“We are excited about the impressive group of award recipients and the commitment each has made to programs and policies that are sustainable, cost-efficient and results-oriented,” said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC′s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. “There is much focus on what individuals can do to improve their health, and while that is important, we must remember that our nation′s health is also strongly affected by population-level changes that result from the collective efforts of all sectors of society.

Applications were submitted by peers or the organizations themselves in response to a call for nominations for the Pioneering Innovation Award.  Over 35 applications were received.  The conference planning committee, comprised of numerous public health organizations, reviewed applications and chose the winners based on their merit.

The awarded non-profit organizations, health care providers, and tribal nations have worked successfully to influence environmental, economic, social and cultural shifts toward obesity prevention and control.

Awardees are:

  • Alliance for a Healthier Generation

Founded in 2005 by the American Heart Association and the William J. Clinton Foundation, the goal of the alliance is to reduce the nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity by 2015 and to empower children nationwide to make healthy lifestyle choices.  The alliance works to positively affect places that can make a difference in a child′s health: homes, schools, restaurants, doctor′s offices, and communities.  The alliance′s Healthy Schools Program provides real tools and solutions to help schools become healthier places to learn and work.  The Healthy Schools Program supports administrators, teachers, parents, and students in more than 5,000 schools across the nation to implement policies and programs that enable students to eat better and move more.

  • Baptist Health South Florida

Baptist Health South Florida′s Wellness Advantage is a comprehensive program offering health-related services to more than 13,000 employees.  This program helps keep the non-profit health care organization′s health care costs, including medical plan premiums and health care service utilization rates, as low as possible.  Guided by a mission to have the healthiest workforce in America, Wellness Advantage offers free employee clinics, fitness centers, healthy menus and vending selections, and innovative disease management services.

  • Center for Science in the Public Interest

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has been a strong advocate for nutrition and health, food safety, alcohol policy, and sound science.  CSPI has a reputation as an influential and independent science-based organization and is credited with leading the efforts for nutrition facts requirements on packaged foods, trans-fats labels, and improving school foods.  Most recently, CSPI assisted New York City in adopting the nation′s first ordinances to ban trans-fats from restaurants and list calorie information on menus and menu boards. CSPI is working on similar measures in other cities and states and in Congress.

  • Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente′s Healthy Eating, Active Living initiative focuses on influencing environmental and policy changes in community food and physical environments where individuals live, work, play, and go to school.  In addition to its commitment to clinical interventions in weight management and industry-leading changes in its own food system, Kaiser Permanente supports grassroots coalitions in 40 communities nationwide to improve food and physical activity environments, and to enact policies that support healthy eating and active living in underserved communities.

  • Navajo Nation

The Navajo Nation, located in the Four Corners region, is the largest reservation in the United States.  For more than 30 years, the Navajo Nation has been working to improve maternity care practices designed to encourage breastfeeding.  These efforts have resulted in positive outcomes including reduced infant illness and reduced medical costs and absenteeism for breastfeeding mothers.

  • Nemours Health and Prevention Services

Nemours Children′s Health System works to improve the health and well-being of children through a continuum of community-based prevention, primary care and medical care.  To address the social determinants of children′s health, NHPS employs a population-oriented, multi-sector approach, implementing policy and practice changes in the places where children live, learn and play.  Through its statewide work in schools, childcare, primary care, youth-serving organizations and the build environment, NHPS has reached more than 100,000 Delaware children with its healthy behavior change initiatives.

  • Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative

The Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI), a project of The Food Trust, The Reinvestment Fund, the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, is an innovative public-private partnership that increases the number of supermarkets and grocery stores in underserved communities across the state, directly benefiting low- and moderate-income communities.  Supermarkets create jobs, serve as retail anchors, and provide access to nutritious food at affordable prices.  FFFI is designed to meet the financing needs of supermarket operators who want to serve these communities, where infrastructure costs and credit needs are higher and unmet by conventional financial institutions.  The initiative helps new supermarkets get off the ground and existing ones to refurbish and replace old capital to improve efficiency and lower costs.

  • Produce for Better Health Foundation

The Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a consumer education foundation whose purpose is to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health.  PBH is responsible for a variety of marketing and nutrition education programs in support of the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters health initiative, which seeks to advance nutrition policy efforts and industry and government collaboration.

For more information about the Weight of the Nation Conference, visit www.weightofthenation.org.  To learn more about CDC′s efforts in obesity prevention and control, and for more information about nutrition, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight, visit www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao.

Note to media: The Weight of the Nation Awards Ceremony will be held on Wednesday, July 29 at 9:30 a.m. at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

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