Obesity continues to be a major public health problem in the United States with even higher obesity rates found among African-American, Hispanic, Alaska Native, and American Indian youth compared to non-Hispanic white youth.
Higher rates of youth obesity are found in low income and rural communities.
More multi-sector efforts and new multi-sector public and private partnerships are needed at the local level to improve physical activity and nutrition, reduce obesity, and prevent and control diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.
This project will access and use the strengths and resources at the county level to address the obesity problem through Land Grant Colleges and Universities and community networks of extension and outreach services.
Given cooperative extension agent's unique relationships and expertise in local communities, extension programs can identify key strategies for obesity prevention and provide resources and information to local residents that increase their knowledge of and access to healthy foods and beverages and opportunities for physical activity.
This collaboration will help develop local obesity solutions through identification of barriers, and the creation and tailoring of interventions.
This FOA outlines an approach and expands the reach of Programs to Reduce Obesity in High Obesity Areas, DP14-1416, in funding Land Grant colleges and Universities in states that have not yet been funded to conduct intervention strategies to prevent and reduce the risk factors associated with childhood obesity among children, youth, and their families.
This will be accomplished by implementing evidence based strategies to improve access and opportunities for children, youth, and families to achieve optimal nutrition and physical activity.
Residents of these communities may have less access to healthy foods and fewer opportunities to be physically active.
These strategies will aim to build upon community assets, community coalitions, multiple existing public health programs in the area, and prioritize healthy environmental improvements in the community.
The strategies address improvements in places where children, youth, and families spend time, improve individual obesity-related behaviors.
If improvements are made and continued, these programs can have long-term positive impacts on the health of residents in these counties and ultimately create sustained change that can reduce the prevalence of obesity.
The initiative can reinforce the health of the community as a critical determinant of individual health and well-being.