California Endowment Announces Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiative

The California Endowment has announced grants totaling $11 million to six community partnerships throughout California as part of its four-year Healthy Eating, Active Communities initiative.

Obesity and its consequences, such as diabetes, are at epidemic levels among California children, especially among poor, ethnic, and minority groups. The goals of the initiative are to improve the food and physical activity options for school-age children and to create momentum for widespread changes in the policies and practices that contribute to rising rates of childhood obesity.

Located in predominantly low-income, urban, and rural communities in Los Angeles, Alameda, Orange, San Diego, and Shasta counties, each partnership 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 outlets, and healthcare services in an effort to improve opportunities for healthy eating and physical activity.

"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 California Endowment president Robert K. Ross. "This initiative is designed to help communities take an active role in transforming their neighborhoods and schools into places where healthy food and activity choices are readily accessible."