Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project
Identifying Effective Strategies to Help Combat Childhood Obesity
CDC recently announced funding to support a four year Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, which will build on existing community efforts that focus on improving children’s nutrition and physical activity in the places where they live, learn and play. The aim of the project is to identify effective health care and community strategies to support children’s healthy eating and active living and help combat childhood obesity.
The project will target children ages 2-12 years covered by the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides low cost health insurance to over 7 million children from working families. Rates of childhood obesity are high overall, but for minority and low-income communities in particular, they are even higher. Using innovative approaches to reach low-income and minority families to tackle childhood obesity prevents the onset of many diseases associated with childhood obesity, including type 2 diabetes, asthma, and heart disease.
These innovative approaches include combining changes in preventive care at doctor visits with supportive changes in schools, child care centers and community venues such as retail food stores and parks. Community health workers will provide a bridge between families and resources in their communities in order to inform and educate hard-to-reach, limited English proficiency, and minority communities about disease prevention (including obesity), health insurance enrollment opportunities, and disease management. Overall, the grantees’ work will focus on strategies that improve children’s health behaviors by involving the children themselves, their parents and other family members and the communities in which they live.
The grantees include three research facilities, which will identify effective childhood obesity prevention strategies. These grantees are:
- University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
- San Diego State University
- Massachusetts State Department of Public Health
One grantee will serve as an evaluation center and will determine successful strategies and share lessons and successes. That grantee is:
- The University of Houston
At the end of the project in September 2015, CDC will disseminate the findings and provide recommendations for successful strategies to prevent obesity among underserved children throughout the United States.