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Cross-cutting Topics

Obesity Prevention/Physical Activity/Nutrition

About Obesity Prevention, Physical Activity, and Nutrition

More than one-third of U.S. adults (over 72 million people) and 17 percent of U.S. children are obese. During 1980–2008, obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children. The cause for the obesity endemic in the United States stems from a variety of factors. During the past several decades, obesity rates for all population groups—regardless of age, sex, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, education level, or geographic region—have increased substantially

Local health departments (LHDs) play a crucial role in the identification, management and prevention of obesity. Through program initiatives and community outreach, LHDs will be called upon to investigate methods which influence individual behavior modification as well as community dynamics and how they factor into nutrition, physical activity and obesity.

Progress in obesity management and prevention are being made by developing policies, systems, and environmental initiatives that help make healthy choices available, affordable, and easy.

See below for past NACCHO projects for resources on obesity prevention, physical activity and nutrition initiatives:

In the Spotlight

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making up to $31.5 million in funding available to help participants in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) more easily afford healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables. Secretary Vilsack made the announcement with Virginia First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe in Richmond, VA. 

The Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive (FINI) program, a new Farm Bill program, brings together stakeholders from distinct parts of the food system and fosters understanding of how they might improve the nutrition and health status of SNAP households. Under FINI, applicants may propose relatively small pilot projects, multi-year community-based projects, or larger-scale multi-year projects. Funded projects will test community based strategies that could contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants through incentives at the point of purchase, supported by effective and efficient benefit redemption technologies, that would inform future efforts. 

NIFA will give priority to projects that: 
  • Maximize the share of funds used for direct incentives to participants 
  • Test innovative or promising strategies that would contribute to our understanding of how best to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables by SNAP participants, which would inform future efforts
  • Develop innovative or improved benefit redemption systems that could be replicated or scaled Use direct-to-consumer sales marketing
  • Demonstrate a track record of designing and implementing successful nutrition incentive programs that connect low-income consumers and agricultural producers
  • Provide locally- or regionally-produced fruits and vegetables, especially culturally-appropriate fruits and vegetables for the target audience 
  • Are located in underserved communities, particularly Promise Zones and StrikeForce communities 
More »

Upcoming Webinars

There are no scheduled webinars at the moment  

New Resource on the Impact of Unhealthy Weight on U.S. Adolescents with Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities

A new study published in the Maternal and Child Health Journal focuses on focuses on unhealthy weight among adolescents with developmental disabilities. Researchers found that obesity high among adolescents with learning and behavioral developmental disabilities and highest among children with autism compared to adolescents without these conditions.

Currently, there are no specific recommendations for preventing obesity among children or adolescents with developmental disabilities. Obesity prevention and management approaches for this at-risk group need further consideration.

Read a summary of the key findings here and the study’s abstract here

Sodium Reduction Resources

Take a look at these new resources underscoring the importance of sodium reduction:

IOM Releases New Report
Sustainable Diets: Food for Healthy People and a Healthy Planet - Workshop Summary

coverSustainable Diets is the summary of a workshop convened by The Institute of Medicine's Food Forum and Roundtable on Environmental Health Sciences, Research, and Medicine in May 2013 to engender dialogue between experts in nutrition and experts in agriculture and natural resource sustainability and to explore current and emerging knowledge on the food and nutrition policy implications of the increasing environmental constraints on the food system. This report explores the role of the food price environment and how environmental sustainability can be incorporated into dietary guidance and considers research priorities, policy implications, and drivers of consumer behaviors that will enable sustainable food choices.

Nutrition Education Videos Launched to Prevent Childhood Obesity

Center for Nutrition has produced videos designed to instruct early care and education (ECE) providers and parents to teach children about nutrition during meals. The videos follow standards found in Preventing Childhood Obesity in Early Care and Education Programs, Second Edition.

The development of these videos involved convening a local, multi-disciplinary group of five experts in nutrition education, called the Omaha Nutrition Education Collaborative (ONEC). This group includes a pediatrician, an early education researcher, an early care director, a public health practitioner and a registered dietician.

Access the videos here.


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