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Childhood Obesity Prevention Demonstration Project

In fiscal year 2008, the NC General Assembly appropriated $2 million in non-recurring funding for "demonstration projects to address childhood obesity". In July 2008, the NC Division of Public Health announced the Request for Applications (RFA) for grant funds through the Childhood Obesity Prevention Demonstration Project. The purpose of this project is to demonstrate that strengthening partner linkages within community sectors increases the utilization and effectiveness of childhood obesity prevention and control efforts. Grants of $380,000 each were awarded to five health departments to support implementation of recommended strategies to reduce the rates of childhood overweight and obesity.

Read stories from the field.

The Childhood Obesity Prevention Demonstration Project consists of interventions in preschools, schools, healthcare organizations, faith organizations, community organizations, and the community at large. The Project ensures intense technical assistance with comprehensive programming to create:

  • Stronger community partnerships to support sustainable healthy environments
  • Improved awareness and education on the value of nutrition and physical activity through social marketing campaigns
  • Increased physical activity on greenways, trails, and sidewalks built as part of Bicycle/Pedestrian Master Plans
  • Healthier pre-school environments
  • More accurate data on childhood obesity rates to help guide continued efforts
  • Coordinated clinical and community interventions for children at high risk for diabetes
  • Enhanced clinical pediatric obesity tools and training for medical practices
  • Expanded hospital employee worksite wellness programs

The Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch in the NC Division of Public Health is responsible for the administration of these grant funds. Assistance and support for the interventions is provided by the North Carolina Hospital Association, WakeMed Health and Hospitals, the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (NCAAHPERD), Community Care of North Carolina, the NC Partnership for Children, NC Healthy Schools, Healthy Carolinians, NC DPH Diabetes Prevention and Control Branch, NC DPH Women's and Children's Health Section, NC DPH Chronic Disease and Injury Section, NC DPH Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch, and others.

Examples of activities carried out through the Project grants include:

The Appalachian District Health Department and the Watauga County Healthy Carolinians will increase access to fruits and vegetables in schools through the "Farm to School" program. The program includes a monthly featured fruit or vegetable, taste testing, and learning activities to encourage children to eat more fruits and vegetables.

The Cabarrus Health Alliance and Healthy Cabarrus will expand a program to increase physical activity and healthy eating for children at preschools and child care centers. The Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment (NAP-SACC) will be implemented at 8 additional child care centers in the county, reaching 320-345 children.

The Dare County Department of Public Health and the Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks will work with local health care providers and the Outer Banks YMCA to replicate the ENERGIZE! Dare program. Health care providers will refer children ages 10-18 who are at risk for Type 2 Diabetes to the program, which includes a 12-week course at the YMCA.

The Henderson County Health Department and Partnership for Health will create a social marketing campaign to encourage county residents to eat smart and move more. Henderson County has seen dramatic growth in Hispanic/Latino residents (466% over the past 10 years). Media outlets such as the Hispanic/Latino newspaper La Voz will be used to reach this growing population.

The Moore County Health Department will work with the partnership MooreHealth to build a new sidewalk and update an existing trail to create a safe route for children to walk to school and for residents to access Cannon Park. Improvements will include new sidewalks, a crosswalk, and signs. The project will connect the Village Acres neighborhood with Cannon Park and Pinehurst Elementary School.

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