Paths to Healthy Weight (Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality Innovations Exchange)
Obesity is a long-recognized and fast-growing public health issue in the United States, with serious health and economic consequences. Reversing the trend is a national priority. Underserved people and communities, including racial and ethnic minority populations, are both at greater risk for obesity and more likely to experience its health and economic impact.
The Prevention Center for Healthy Weight is a nationwide effort focused on the prevention and treatment of childhood and adult obesity. Funded by a $5 million cooperative agreement awarded September 2010 to the National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality , which is working with HRSA and a consortium of organizations. The Prevention Center’s mission is to work with communities to promote positive primary care, public health and individual change to reverse the obesity epidemic facing our Nation.
The Prevention Center also will manage the Healthy Weight Collaborative , a national effort to develop and share evidence-based and promising community-based and clinical interventions to prevent and treat obesity for children and families.
At least 50 teams from across the Nation will participate in the Collaborative, working to expand obesity treatment and prevention efforts beyond the walls of a clinician’s office and into the community.
The teams will work with States, tribes and other interested groups to develop practical approaches that link primary care, public health and communities to prevent and treat obesity for children and families.
Using established quality improvement methods, the Prevention Center for Healthy Weight will provide training and technical assistance to the teams.
HRSA-supported health centers provide primary health care on a sliding fee scale to people, regardless of their ability to pay. They help patients manage diabetes, high blood pressure and other diseases and conditions associated with overweight. HRSA partners with the National Institutes of Health to use NIH's We Can! ™ program in health centers and prevent overweight among youth age 8 to 13.
Health centers have also developed their own programs focused on preventing childhood obesity, such Fit-4-Life, which provides nutrition education and promotes physical activity for the youngest patients -- birth to age 3 -- at the Urban Health Plan in New York. Learn more on page 3: Urban Health Beat (PDF - 443 KB) .
Rural Health Care Services Outreach grantees have developed strategies to address obesity, including individual and family education, fitness programs, clinical interventions and social marketing campaigns focused on preventing childhood obesity. Learn more about the Rural Health Care Services Outreach grant program.
The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant provides funds to U.S. States and territories to improve the health of all mothers, children, and their families. More than half of the States and territories (34 of 59) identify reducing obesity and overweight as a priority need. The percentage of children, ages 2 to 5 years, receiving WIC (Women, Infant and Children) services with a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 85th percentile is one of 18 performance measures used to track progress towards achieving goals. See the data for any or all States and territories since 2004: National Performance Measures Multi-Year Report.
Training Programs in Nutrition grants promote public health nutrition for children, adolescents, women, and families by providing graduate training to nutritionists and registered dietitians. See funded projects.
Employer Toolkit provides large employers with information, practical strategies and comprehensive analysis of the childhood obesity epidemic in terms of health consequences and costs. Developed with HRSA support, the toolkit provides strategies and solutions for employers and parents that speak to the problem of healthy weight management: Reducing Child & Adolescent Obesity — Addressing Healthy Weight For Employees and Their Children .
Bright Futures is a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative that addresses children's health needs in the context of family and community. Health care providers, parents and policymakers alike use the guidelines to help them improve and maintain the health of children, adolescents and women.
For Children and Adolescents
source: 2006 estimates from Prevalence of overweight, obesity and extreme obesity among adults
source: 2008 estimates from Prevalence of Obesity Among Children and Adolescents