$500 Million to Reduce Childhood Obesity in USA

Posted on April 4, 2007  Comments (8)

$500-Million Commitment to Reverse Childhood Obesity in U.S.:

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) today announced it will commit at least $500 million over the next five years to tackle one of the most urgent public health threats facing our nation: childhood obesity. This is the largest commitment by any foundation to this issue. The Foundation’s goal is to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States by 2015.

During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, more than quadrupling among children ages 6 to 11. Today, more than 33 percent of children and adolescents—approximately 25 million kids—are overweight or obese.

In addition to the toll on our nation’s health, obesity also poses a tremendous financial threat to our economy and our health care system. It’s estimated that the obesity epidemic costs our nation $117 billion per year in direct health care costs and lost productivity. Childhood obesity alone carries a huge price tag-up to $14 billion per year in direct health care costs to treat kids.

The Foundation will focus on improving access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for safe physical activity in schools and communities.

8 Responses to “$500 Million to Reduce Childhood Obesity in USA”

  1. Bessie Johns
    November 30th, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

    Fast food, video games, sugary snacks are just some of the reasons why our young people are obese. I’m not sure why it would take 500 million to figure this out. Some good home cooking and getting children outside again to play would probably do the trick. Just my humble opinion!

  2. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Nature Recreation Declining
    February 6th, 2008 @ 8:26 am

    “We recently wrote a review paper looking at this phenomenon as well as at the effects of videophilia on childhood development. These effects are substantial and include obesity, attentional disorders, lack of socialization and poor academic performance…”

  3. CuriousCat: Eating Breakfast Keeps Teenagers Leaner
    April 12th, 2008 @ 1:31 pm

    “In a five year study of more than 2,000 youngsters, those who skipped breakfast weighed on average 5lbs (2.3kg) more than those who ate first thing…”

  4. CuriousCat: Fat Cell Count Set in Childhood
    May 5th, 2008 @ 10:10 am

    “we couldn’t have a clearer indication of the importance of childhood as a window for preventing obesity and the chronic diseases affected by it – cancer, heart disease, diabetes and more…”

  5. Sarah Butland
    May 23rd, 2008 @ 12:52 pm

    Bravo to RWJF for donating so much to such an important cause. I’d be interested to see how effectively this money is divided and its results which should encourage the government to look more seriously at solutions to the problem they keep reporting on.

    I’m only skeptical because in my own community (New Brunswick, Canada) the government started a program with funding but it’s effects are never reported on. Instead of seeing headlines on what people in the community are doing we still only read the ones on the problem of obesity. I’ve contacted local newspapers, the government, etc about my book Sending You Sammy, the first of a children’s book series intended to encourage children to eat healthy and be active, and haven’t received any backing from them. This would be an excellent opportunity for them to back (not only for the obesity problem but because of the decline in literacy rates) and yet it goes ignored.

    $500 Million is a lot of money when there are such simple, cost effective solutions out there but it’s not just one easy catch all solution we need to look at either. All I ask is that you do spend the money wisely as this is a simple problem to fix, we just have to get up and smell the fruits and vegetables.

  6. CuriousCat: Waste from Gut Bacteria Helps Host Control Weight
    October 20th, 2008 @ 8:29 am

    Humans, like other animals, have a large and varied population of beneficial bacteria that live in the intestines. The bacteria break up large molecules that the host cannot digest. The host in turn absorbs many of the resulting small molecules for energy and nutrients…

  7. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Active Amish Avoid Obesity
    March 28th, 2009 @ 3:02 pm

    “Four years ago we discovered that the Amish maintained super-low obesity levels despite eating a diet high in fat, calories and refined sugar. They key was their level of physical activity…”

  8. Anonymous
    November 26th, 2009 @ 5:43 am

    I think the reason why children are obese is because their parents fuel them with junk food. Just take a look at the super markets or even the school canteens, there is where, you will find the problem.

    Still, that is a great contribution to the cause and I hope they put it in the right place and help these poor children.

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