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Health Affairs June GrantWatch Column Focuses on Foundation Funding to Prevent Obesity



June 27th, 2013
by Lee-Lee Prina

My GrantWatch column (free access) in the journal’s June issue focuses on foundations’ funding in obesity prevention. Little did I know that the topic would be so timely: The American Medical Association voted on June 18 to adopt a policy stating that it now considers obesity a “disease.”

As a “lagniappe,” I have added here some additional new information on foundations and obesity after my discussion of the column.

What’s in the Column

“Foundation Funding to Prevent Obesity” discusses the efforts of foundations around the country. Some funders’ projects focus on people of all ages. Others focus on children. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is perhaps the best-known funder in the obesity prevention area; it has a program on childhood obesity prevention.

The column mentions the RWJF, as well as many other foundations based in locations ranging from California to Texas to Massachusetts to Williamsburg, Virginia.

Lagniappe: More on Obesity Prevention

These two items were announced after my column went to the printer!

New grant announced:

The Duke Endowment, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, announced in a June 20 press release that its trustees recently approved a grant for $556,030 to the University of South Carolina’s Arnold School of Public Health “to implement a program for child care professionals aimed at preventing childhood obesity.” The endowment funds in North and South Carolina only.

Event in Washington, D.C.:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association are holding a Tuesday, July 9, event in Washington, D.C., on “Signs of Progress toward Reversing the Childhood Obesity Epidemic.” After decades of increases in child obesity rates, the foundation notes that “several cities and states” across the United States have reported that rates in their localities have declined, says an e-alert.

Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, who heads the foundation, and Nancy Brown, CEO of the association, will lead the discussions. The foundation and the heart association have teamed up in a joint initiative called Voices for Healthy Kids. This collaboration, which is presenting the July 9 event, is “focused on changing local, state, and federal policies to help children and adolescents eat healthier foods and be more active,” says the agenda.

Keynote speakers Tom Farley, New York City health commissioner (who was formerly at the public health school of my alma mater, Tulane University) and Chip Johnson, mayor of Hernando, Mississippi, will talk about efforts in their cities and how the lessons they  learned “can be applied elsewhere,” the alert says. The event will also have a panel of speakers on states and another panel on cities and counties.

Can’t get to DC for this event? It will be webcast live.

To attend the event, register here.

To register for the webcast, go here.

Related resource:

Read the New York Times article on the American Medical Association’s new policy on obesity.

 

 

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