Expanding our mission to foster improved health of community residents, childhood obesity prevention is a thematic focus of a number of UHI efforts.
The Urban Health Initiative worked closely with a community-wide effort to establish a local collective effort to address early childhood obesity. That effort resulted in creation of the Cuyahoga County Early Childhood Wellness Plan and the Early Ages, Healthy Stages Coalition. The Coalition seeks to create priorities and make resources available to support improved nutrition and physical activity in early learning and care settings.
2013 Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit
With a grant from the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, the Urban Health Initiative worked with Foundation staff to plan and host the Foundation’s second Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit. With collaborative support from Saint Luke’s Foundation, the second summit focused on the role of childcare settings in supporting children’s healthy development.
2013 White Paper – Obesity Prevention in Early Care and Education Settings
Childhood obesity has become an epidemic in the United States, where one in three children is either obese or overweight. The earliest years represent a crucial opportunity to promote healthy weight among children.
There is no magic bullet that will solve the obesity epidemic. Rather, experts recommend that community-based coalitions work together to identify priorities, set goals, share information, and measure success.
More than 500 faculty and students focus on early childhood obesity
On September 25, 2013, more than 500 Dental, Medical, Public Health, Nursing, Social Work, MPH and Nutrition students came together in interprofessional teams to consider approaches to dealing with a family who has an overweight child attending child care. These students came together in Spring 2014 to continue developing strategies in interporfessional teams. This program has continued with the new cohort of health professional students continuing to come together in 2015 to consider creative solutions to improving nutrition and physical activity in children.
With a grant from the Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation, the Urban Health Initiative worked with Foundation staff to plan and host the Foundation’s second Early Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit. With collaborative support from Saint Luke’s Foundation, the second summit focused on the role of childcare settings in supporting children’s healthy development. See Keynote Panel Presentations.
Held on January 29, 2013 at the Rainey Institute, the session was moderated by William Dietz,MD, who recently retired as the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. The conference incorporated broad stakeholder participation to collectively identify opportunities improve the likelihood that children will reach school at a healthy weight and build action plans to support meaningful change. Read more about Dietz’s Activity in Cleveland.
In conjunction with his January 28, 2013 appearance at the Town Hall Lecture Series at the Ohio Theatre, Dr. Dietz also participated in a half-day of meetings with groups of CWRU faculty.
Some suggestions from his visit
“I think you have an exceptional opportunity at making a difference, all the pieces are in place and what seems to be missing is a coordinated effort that brings all these pieces together and begins to build redundancy into some of these strategies.”
“I am impressed by the Health Line and Euclid Corridor and the campus district and the vacant land and opportunity that exists between there and here. Cleveland is blessed with a river and a lake and few other cities can boast those resources. But also, the foreclosure crisis and the decline in population offer the opportunity for Cleveland to redesign itself.”
“Academic institutions are work sites that are embedded in communities and can model the kinds of things that should be expanded.”
-Dr. Dietz, speaking with School of Medicine faculty January 29, 2013