Six California Communities Selected for Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative
California Endowment announced $11 million in funding awarded to six
community collaboratives throughout California to participate in the
foundation's four-year Healthy Eating, Active Communities Initiative.
The objectives of the Initiative are to improve the food and physical
activity environments for school-age children and to create momentum
for widespread changes in the policies and practices that contribute to
the rising rates of childhood obesity.
collaboratives selected are located in predominantly low-income, urban
and rural communities in Los Angeles, Alameda, Orange, San Diego and
its consequences such as diabetes are at epidemic levels among
California children, especially among poor, ethnic and racial groups.
Obesity that is due to unhealthy eating habits and inactivity, and
influenced by factors in social and physical environments, is largely
collaborative consists of a community-based organization, a school
district and a local public health department that will work together
to help change policies and practices in schools, after-school
programs, neighborhoods, media and advertising, and in health care
services to improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical
the collaboratives will include improving access to physical activities
and nutritious food choices at schools and through after-school
programs, as well as efforts to expand access to nutritious foods in
neighborhoods by attracting grocery stores and farmer's markets, among
others. In addition, the collaboratives will work to develop policies
and programs for safe neighborhoods and places to exercise, and that
counteract marketing of unhealthy foods to children.
"It is easy
to say ‘eat right and get more exercise,' but we have to do more
to make sure that kids have access to nutritious foods and fun, safe
places so that they want to participate in physical activity," said
Robert K. Ross, president and CEO of The Endowment. "This initiative is
designed to help communities to take an active role in transforming
their neighborhoods and schools into places where healthy food and
activity choices are readily accessible."
were selected through a rigorous process that took into account
communities – rates of diabetes, obesity, and youth fitness,
community readiness to participate, and willingness to collaborate and
partner across sectors. The six collaboratives will spend the first six
months developing their action plans outlining goals, objectives,
activities and timelines.
unrealistic to place the burden of resolving this crisis on parents and
children alone," said Marion Standish, director of The Endowment's
Disparities in Health program.
personal responsibility is important, our fast-food, media-saturated,
unsafe streets, car-oriented environment is working against us.
Schools, physicians, food industry leaders and other stakeholders must
work with communities to create an environment where it is easier for
young people to make healthy choices about eating and physical
California Endowment, a private, statewide health foundation, was
established in 1996 to expand access to affordable, quality health care
for underserved individuals and communities, and to promote fundamental
improvements in the health status of all Californians.
For more information on the California Endowment, visit www.calendow.org.