Library

Research
As Child Obesity Surges, One Town Finds Way to Slim
June 17, 2014

Most people think the battle against obesity takes willpower. But the town of Somerville knows it takes the will of an entire community.

Research
Shape Up Somerville two-year results: A community-based environmental change intervention sustains weight reduction in children
June 17, 2014

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that community-based environmental change intervention prevents undesirable weight gain in children.

Research
A Community Intervention Reduces BMI z-score in Children: Shape Up Somerville First Year Results
June 17, 2014

The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years).

Research
Shaping up Somerville: A community initiative in Massachusetts
June 17, 2014

We live in a era of low expectations for big ideas. On the environment, on health insurance, on the economy, the public and poliy-makers alike display real cynicism about achieving transformative change. Shape Up Somerville, however, demonstrates that communities have considerable ability to shape attitudes and behaviors that significantly improve public health and transform the quality of life for their citizens.

Video
Healthy Kids Out of School: Stories from the Field
May 20, 2014

The Notah Begay III Foundation and Boy Scouts of America are among eleven out-of-school-time organizations that have partnered with Healthy Kids Out of School to implement three principles: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. We visited an NB3 soccer program in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, and a Boy Scout summer camp in Kingston, MA to see how these programs are encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

Research
ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals
January 14, 2014

The ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals include the broad goals of each initiative, followed by the evidence and recommendations that guide and inform our work.

Research
Parent Perspectives on Nutrition and Physical Activity During Out-of-School Time
December 19, 2013

Objective
Out-of-school time (OST) programs serve a large, diverse population of children, including those at increased obesity risk. In this study, parents' perspectives about nutrition and physical activity (PA) during OST were assessed

Access Article

Research
Boston Globe: As we make strides against childhood obesity, we must not let up in our effort
October 30, 2013

Vice-chair and Director, Dr. Christina Economos, wrote a letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe in October, 2013. In it, she emphasizes the importance of staying the course in our efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Read the full article

Research
Bloomberg: The Practical Way to Fight Childhood Obesity
September 17, 2013

Bloomberg published a piece by Peter Orszag in September, 2013. ChildObesity180 is featured. Read the full article

Research
Children's perceptions of weight, obesity, nutrition, physical activity and related health and socio-behavioural factors.
August 1, 2013
Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Corona-Norco Unified School District, Corona, California
July 31, 2013

Students in the Corona-Norco Unified School District stay active with the 100 Mile Club, a school-based running and walking program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Natick Public Schools, Natick, Massachusetts
July 31, 2013

Students in Natick Public Schools stay active with BOKS, a before-school physical activity program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida
July 31, 2013

Miami-Dade County Public Schools are using technology to keep kids active. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Red Hawk Elementary Schools, Erie, Colorado
July 31, 2013

See how Red Hawk Elementary students stay active daily with a rotating "movement calendar." 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Hilton Head Island Elementary School, Hilton Head, South Carolina
July 31, 2013

Watch how the Strength Summed Up Team keeps children active before-school. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - CHALK/Just Move, New York, New York
July 31, 2013

Learn how children in New York City meet the state standard of 120 minutes of physical activity per week with the CHALK/Just Move program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Overland Elementary School, Los Angeles, California
July 31, 2013

See how Overland in Motion keeps kids active at Overland Elementary in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - El Paso Independent School District, El Paso, Texas
July 31, 2013

Learn about the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) "whole student" approach to wellness. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Meadowview Elementary, Farmington, Minnesota
July 31, 2013

See how Meadowview Elementary students stay active with the Running Club and the Century Club.

Presentation
Perceptions about meals eaten at restaurants in a nationally representative sample of US children
July 31, 2013

Poster presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in Ghent, Belgium, May 2013. The main aims of the poster were to examine perceptions of restaurant side dishes that are healthier (fruit, vegetable) and less healthy (French fries), in a nationally representative sample of 8-to-18-year-old children.  

Presentation
Healthy Kids Out of School Poster: Presented at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference
July 31, 2013

Healthy Kids Out of School presented a poster describing activities to date at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC on May 7, 2012.

Research
Science-Based Statement on Dietary Needs, Physical Activity Recommendations and Energy Balance for Children during Out-Of-School-Time Activities
July 31, 2013

This paper provides an overview of current research on the nutritional and physical activity requirements and behaviors of children and adolescents, and thus the scientific basis for the three guiding principles.

Epidemic

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Research
As Child Obesity Surges, One Town Finds Way to Slim
June 17, 2014

Most people think the battle against obesity takes willpower. But the town of Somerville knows it takes the will of an entire community.

Research
Shape Up Somerville two-year results: A community-based environmental change intervention sustains weight reduction in children
June 17, 2014

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that community-based environmental change intervention prevents undesirable weight gain in children.

Research
A Community Intervention Reduces BMI z-score in Children: Shape Up Somerville First Year Results
June 17, 2014

The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years).

Research
Shaping up Somerville: A community initiative in Massachusetts
June 17, 2014

We live in a era of low expectations for big ideas. On the environment, on health insurance, on the economy, the public and poliy-makers alike display real cynicism about achieving transformative change. Shape Up Somerville, however, demonstrates that communities have considerable ability to shape attitudes and behaviors that significantly improve public health and transform the quality of life for their citizens.

Research
Boston Globe: As we make strides against childhood obesity, we must not let up in our effort
October 30, 2013

Vice-chair and Director, Dr. Christina Economos, wrote a letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe in October, 2013. In it, she emphasizes the importance of staying the course in our efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Read the full article

Research
Bloomberg: The Practical Way to Fight Childhood Obesity
September 17, 2013

Bloomberg published a piece by Peter Orszag in September, 2013. ChildObesity180 is featured. Read the full article

Initiatives

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News
Soccer, Scout and 4-H Programs Rally Around Healthy Snacks
July 9, 2014

Pilot Program with Hannaford Supermarkets Encourages Healthy Eating

(July 9, 2014) BOSTON, MA – Research indicates that unhealthy snacks have contributed to the rise in childhood obesity rates in the U.S., which have more than doubled in the past three decades. Now children in sixteen soccer, Cub Scout, and 4-H programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts are getting a healthy boost from Hannaford Supermarkets thanks to a pilot program called Snack It Up.  

Created by Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University, Snack It Up is an effort to develop innovative and collaborative approaches to childhood obesity prevention.  The goal is to help program leaders serve healthy snacks at meetings and practices by offering a discount on fruits and vegetables at Hannaford Supermarkets. Participating leaders receive weekly coupons for a five-dollar discount on produce items. The pilot program is supported by Newman’s Own Foundation.  Healthy Kids Out of School receives regional support from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

“We developed Snack It Up in response to coaches and program leaders telling us that fruits and vegetables were not easily accessible,” says Christina D. Economos Ph.D., vice chair and director of ChildObesity180, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “With the participation of Hannaford and support from Newman’s Own Foundation, we have been able to help these programs provide healthier snack options for children while still staying within their budgets.”  

“Hannaford Supermarkets have long offered tools and resources for our customers who are seeking healthier food options,” said Julie Greene, manager of healthy living for Hannaford. “We are excited to support Snack It Up and make it easier for community programs, coaches and volunteers to offer fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking.”

With the Snack It Up pilot successfully underway, participants are praising the benefits. Van Anderson, a 4-H leader from New Hampshire, said, “The discount has really enabled me to purchase more fruits and vegetables.  Being on a fixed income, I wasn’t able to give the kids the variety of snacks that I can now give them.”

“It’s a great incentive for the leaders to purchase healthier snacks rather than chips or candy,” says Tamara Van Lenten, an assistant cubmaster in Bristol, New Hampshire. “It’s been a terrific program.”

“The pilot sounded like a really good opportunity for me as a club leader to expose my kids to fruits and vegetables that we might not usually be able to purchase,” adds Katy Duval, a 4-H club leader in South Paris, Maine. “The kids have reacted really well to the healthy snacks that we’ve been serving. We were kind of surprised!”

“We are pleased to support the Snack It Up program, which addresses challenging issues around nutrition,” says Lisa Walker, Managing Director of Newman’s Own Foundation. “This is a good example of an innovative program that can make a meaningful difference.”

Coaches and program leaders who are interested in creating a similar collaboration with their own local grocery stores can download a free toolkit at HealthyKidsHub.org/SnackItUp.

---

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180:  Aiming for a “180” on Childhood Obesity
Based at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, our premise is unique:  Top national leaders from the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors committed to developing, measuring, and implementing evidence-based solutions to reverse the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity in America. For more information, visit www.ChildObesity180.org.

Media Contact:
Jeff Landis
Communications Consultant, Healthy Kids Out of School
(978) 778-8711
 

News
Maine Scout Leaders Help Curb Childhood Obesity
June 4, 2014

Earn the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch by Drinking Right, Snacking Smart, and Moving More

(June 4, 2014) BANGOR, ME - Obesity affects 17% (12.5 million) of all children and adolescents in the United States. In Maine, nearly one-third (28.2%) of children are considered either overweight or obese.  A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that as a result of this epidemic, children today may have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents.

To address this issue, Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University in Boston, is working with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America to promote three healthy habits: drinking water instead of sugary beverages, snacking on fruits and vegetables, and adding physical activity to meetings and events.

Last year, Healthy Kids Out of School collaborated with Boy Scout troops in New England to develop and launch the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch. Today, Scouts in Maine and around the country can earn the patch by serving water and healthy snacks at their meetings, and offering at least 15 minutes of physical activity.

Through its Growing Up Healthy initiative, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation provides funding for Healthy Kids Out of School to work with out-of-school-time programs in the New England area. “We know that children’s success in school and beyond, as well as their overall quality of life, is closely tied to health,” says the Foundation’s president Karen Voci.  “Since 2007, we have been focusing our efforts on childhood obesity prevention and we know that the best way to improve the health of children is to improve the environments in which they spend most of their time.”

A Community Effort in Bangor

Sandy Smith is a first- year Boy Scouts Den Leader who is making a difference in the health of his Scouts.  Last fall, Smith attended a training session offered by Healthy Kids Out of School and was inspired to implement some of the ideas at his next den meeting.

Smith’s efforts went above and beyond the basic requirements for the Healthy Unit Patch. “We wanted to do more, so we surveyed the parents of the Tiger Cubs to learn if anyone had backgrounds in nutrition or physical fitness,” said Smith. “One parent is a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor.  She did six sessions on nutrition, and then a trainer picked up the physical fitness component of the patch.”

Smith also worked with the City of Bangor to coordinate a “sledding under the stars” event, and the boys enjoyed the event so much that many of their parents were inspired to join in.

“The SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch training has been enlightening for me,” said Smith. “It has inspired me to become a role model for these boys and to find creative and fun ways to instill healthier habits for my den.”  

Eating Cars in Millinocket

Another Scout leader who was inspired by the Healthy Kids Out of School training is Angela Cote of Millinocket.

Cote wanted to create a unique experience for the boys to get them more excited about eating fruits and vegetables, and encourage them to try new foods.  In coordination with the annual Pinewood Derby activity where Scouts build and race model cars, Angela led a “Fruits and Vegetables Derby,” where each Scout created a car from fresh produce to eat as a snack.  

“The Scouts absolutely loved making the [produce] derby cars,” said Cote.  “The fruits and vegetables were pre-cut, and it was interesting watching the Scouts select their cars’ components.  Many gravitated to the fruits.  I plan to incorporate more vegetables in snacks in the future.”

Cote hopes to get other den leaders and parents involved with these activities in the future.

“There’s no better time than the present to start teaching children how to eat better. There are many small, easy ways to introduce healthy foods and exercises into a child’s life.  I want our Scouts to learn how to make the right choices now so that it becomes second nature to them when they’re older.”  

Since launching the trainings in 2013, Healthy Kids Out of School has trained over 500 volunteer leaders across New England and is already seeing the impact of these efforts.  “Hundreds of Scouts have already achieved the Patch, with more requests from leaders coming in every day,” says Alyssa Koomas, Regional Project Manager for Healthy Kids Out of School. “When the Scout Leaders call in to request the patches, they share the benefits they see by making these simple, healthy changes to their meetings – the Scouts have longer attention spans, enthusiasm for trying new things, and are just having a whole lot of fun.”

Funding from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supported the development of a “learning laboratory” across Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire to test, develop and deliver trainings and materials to support out-of-school-time programs in adopting the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative’s three principles: Snack Smart, Drink Right and Move More.

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (www.HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180
ChildObesity180, based at Tufts University, is an organization committed to cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Using an evidence-based approach and business-minded practices, ChildObesity180 is developing and carrying out innovative initiatives to prevent childhood obesity. ChildObesity180 is comprised of national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors that use their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national effort. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The JPB Foundation are strategic funders. Learn more at www.ChildObesity180.org

Media Contact:
Jeff Landis
(978) 778-8711

Video
Healthy Kids Out of School: Stories from the Field
May 20, 2014

The Notah Begay III Foundation and Boy Scouts of America are among eleven out-of-school-time organizations that have partnered with Healthy Kids Out of School to implement three principles: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. We visited an NB3 soccer program in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, and a Boy Scout summer camp in Kingston, MA to see how these programs are encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

News
ChildObesity180 Launches Web Series on School Breakfast
March 3, 2014

(March 3, 2014) BOSTON, MA - Recent research reveals that children who eat breakfast are healthier and perform better in school than those who do not. School breakfast programs can help children face the day motivated and ready to learn. 

A new series of seven short web videos from ChildObesity180 at Tufts University in Boston, MA serves up the latest research on the School Breakfast Program in bite-sized portions. 

Studies have linked breakfast to:
•    improved nutrition    
•    healthier weight
•    better cognitive functioning and memory    
•    increased academic achievement and test grades

The National School Breakfast Program is uniquely positioned to increase the number of children who eat a healthy breakfast, preparing students to be motivated in school and ready to learn. 

Researchers have recently found that:
•    School breakfast is an under-used resource. In fact, less than half of eligible students participate in the School Breakfast Program.
•    Eating school breakfast is linked to improved scores on math, reading, and science tests.
•    Children who eat school breakfast may have a better intake of vitamins and minerals.
•    Eating school breakfast can protect children from the risk of obesity-related diseases like diabetes.
•    Offering free breakfast to all children benefits both students and their schools.
•    Serving school breakfast in the classroom can boost children’s health and academic achievement.

You can watch the series at childobesity180.org/BreakfastEffect. Ready to promote school breakfast in your district? Access free toolkits, sample menus, and more from Action for Healthy Kids, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Fuel Up to Play 60, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, and No Kid Hungry at our breakfast resource page.

Research
Parent Perspectives on Nutrition and Physical Activity During Out-of-School Time
December 19, 2013

Objective
Out-of-school time (OST) programs serve a large, diverse population of children, including those at increased obesity risk. In this study, parents' perspectives about nutrition and physical activity (PA) during OST were assessed

Access Article

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Corona-Norco Unified School District, Corona, California
July 31, 2013

Students in the Corona-Norco Unified School District stay active with the 100 Mile Club, a school-based running and walking program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Natick Public Schools, Natick, Massachusetts
July 31, 2013

Students in Natick Public Schools stay active with BOKS, a before-school physical activity program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida
July 31, 2013

Miami-Dade County Public Schools are using technology to keep kids active. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Red Hawk Elementary Schools, Erie, Colorado
July 31, 2013

See how Red Hawk Elementary students stay active daily with a rotating "movement calendar." 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Hilton Head Island Elementary School, Hilton Head, South Carolina
July 31, 2013

Watch how the Strength Summed Up Team keeps children active before-school. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - CHALK/Just Move, New York, New York
July 31, 2013

Learn how children in New York City meet the state standard of 120 minutes of physical activity per week with the CHALK/Just Move program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Overland Elementary School, Los Angeles, California
July 31, 2013

See how Overland in Motion keeps kids active at Overland Elementary in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - El Paso Independent School District, El Paso, Texas
July 31, 2013

Learn about the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) "whole student" approach to wellness. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Meadowview Elementary, Farmington, Minnesota
July 31, 2013

See how Meadowview Elementary students stay active with the Running Club and the Century Club.

Presentation
Perceptions about meals eaten at restaurants in a nationally representative sample of US children
July 31, 2013

Poster presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in Ghent, Belgium, May 2013. The main aims of the poster were to examine perceptions of restaurant side dishes that are healthier (fruit, vegetable) and less healthy (French fries), in a nationally representative sample of 8-to-18-year-old children.  

Presentation
Healthy Kids Out of School Poster: Presented at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference
July 31, 2013

Healthy Kids Out of School presented a poster describing activities to date at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC on May 7, 2012.

Research
Science-Based Statement on Dietary Needs, Physical Activity Recommendations and Energy Balance for Children during Out-Of-School-Time Activities
July 31, 2013

This paper provides an overview of current research on the nutritional and physical activity requirements and behaviors of children and adolescents, and thus the scientific basis for the three guiding principles.

People

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Research

Back to top
Research
Shape Up Somerville two-year results: A community-based environmental change intervention sustains weight reduction in children
June 17, 2014

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that community-based environmental change intervention prevents undesirable weight gain in children.

Research
A Community Intervention Reduces BMI z-score in Children: Shape Up Somerville First Year Results
June 17, 2014

The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years).

Research
Shaping up Somerville: A community initiative in Massachusetts
June 17, 2014

We live in a era of low expectations for big ideas. On the environment, on health insurance, on the economy, the public and poliy-makers alike display real cynicism about achieving transformative change. Shape Up Somerville, however, demonstrates that communities have considerable ability to shape attitudes and behaviors that significantly improve public health and transform the quality of life for their citizens.

News
ChildObesity180 Launches Web Series on School Breakfast
March 3, 2014

(March 3, 2014) BOSTON, MA - Recent research reveals that children who eat breakfast are healthier and perform better in school than those who do not. School breakfast programs can help children face the day motivated and ready to learn. 

A new series of seven short web videos from ChildObesity180 at Tufts University in Boston, MA serves up the latest research on the School Breakfast Program in bite-sized portions. 

Studies have linked breakfast to:
•    improved nutrition    
•    healthier weight
•    better cognitive functioning and memory    
•    increased academic achievement and test grades

The National School Breakfast Program is uniquely positioned to increase the number of children who eat a healthy breakfast, preparing students to be motivated in school and ready to learn. 

Researchers have recently found that:
•    School breakfast is an under-used resource. In fact, less than half of eligible students participate in the School Breakfast Program.
•    Eating school breakfast is linked to improved scores on math, reading, and science tests.
•    Children who eat school breakfast may have a better intake of vitamins and minerals.
•    Eating school breakfast can protect children from the risk of obesity-related diseases like diabetes.
•    Offering free breakfast to all children benefits both students and their schools.
•    Serving school breakfast in the classroom can boost children’s health and academic achievement.

You can watch the series at childobesity180.org/BreakfastEffect. Ready to promote school breakfast in your district? Access free toolkits, sample menus, and more from Action for Healthy Kids, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Fuel Up to Play 60, GENYOUth Foundation, National Dairy Council, and No Kid Hungry at our breakfast resource page.

Research
ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals
January 14, 2014

The ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals include the broad goals of each initiative, followed by the evidence and recommendations that guide and inform our work.

Research
Parent Perspectives on Nutrition and Physical Activity During Out-of-School Time
December 19, 2013

Objective
Out-of-school time (OST) programs serve a large, diverse population of children, including those at increased obesity risk. In this study, parents' perspectives about nutrition and physical activity (PA) during OST were assessed

Access Article

Research
Children's perceptions of weight, obesity, nutrition, physical activity and related health and socio-behavioural factors.
August 1, 2013
Presentation
Perceptions about meals eaten at restaurants in a nationally representative sample of US children
July 31, 2013

Poster presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in Ghent, Belgium, May 2013. The main aims of the poster were to examine perceptions of restaurant side dishes that are healthier (fruit, vegetable) and less healthy (French fries), in a nationally representative sample of 8-to-18-year-old children.  

Presentation
Healthy Kids Out of School Poster: Presented at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference
July 31, 2013

Healthy Kids Out of School presented a poster describing activities to date at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC on May 7, 2012.

Research
Science-Based Statement on Dietary Needs, Physical Activity Recommendations and Energy Balance for Children during Out-Of-School-Time Activities
July 31, 2013

This paper provides an overview of current research on the nutritional and physical activity requirements and behaviors of children and adolescents, and thus the scientific basis for the three guiding principles.

Success Stories

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News
New Hampshire Soccer Association Joins Initiative to Bring Healthier Snacks to Kids
September 10, 2014

“Snack It Up” Program Could Impact More Than 3,000 New Hampshire Youth Athletes  

(September 10, 2014) BOSTON, MA – Youth soccer players across New Hampshire are kicking off the fall season with healthier snacks,  thanks to an expansion of Snack It Up, a program to make fresh produce more affordable and accessible to coaches and their teams. Healthy Kids Out of School, New Hampshire Soccer Association and Hannaford Supermarkets are teaming up to bring Snack It Up to more than 3,000 youth athletes this fall. Beginning this month, Snack It Up will provide 200 youth soccer coaches with discounts on fruits and vegetables to encourage healthy habits in youth athletes.

Snack It Up was created by Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition. The program empowers coaches and other leaders of after-school programs to upgrade their snacks through support and collaboration from community partners. Participating coaches will receive a coupon booklet providing significant discounts for produce items, reinforcing healthy alternatives to the calorie-packed, low-nutrient foods often provided as post-game snacks.
 
“We are thrilled to participate in Snack It Up so that our coaches can help youth athletes fuel up on healthier snacks more affordably,” said Eric Redder, Technical Director of New Hampshire Soccer Association. “We work hard to teach our players to lead healthy, active lives, and this initiative helps build healthy habits on, and off, the field.”

The launch of the Snack It Up program in New Hampshire builds on successful recent pilots in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine and is part of ChildObesity180’s effort to reverse the trend of childhood obesity in America. Since 1980, rates of obesity have doubled in 2-5 year olds, quadrupled in 6-11 year olds, and tripled in 12-19 year olds. The causes of obesity are complex and interconnected, but can be mitigated through simple steps like making fruits and vegetables the default snack.

“We’re excited to bring this innovative program to New Hampshire,” said Christina D. Economos Ph.D., vice chair and director of ChildObesity180, New Balance Chair in Childhood Nutrition, and associate professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. “Snack It Up helps foster healthy snacking habits in youth by making fresh fruits and veggies a more regular part of their routines. By reinforcing healthy behaviors around activities and snacking, we can change the norms and reverse the trend of childhood obesity.”

“Hannaford Supermarkets is proud to support the Healthy Kids Out of School Snack It Up program,” said Julie Greene, manager of healthy living for Hannaford. “Snack It Up helps us connect with our local communities and invest in the health of New Hampshire’s young athletes by making fresh, nutritious snacks more affordable and accessible.”

Coaches and volunteer leaders who are looking to develop similar partnerships in their own communities can visit the Healthy Kids Hub website (HealthyKidsHub.org/snackitup) to get tips for inviting local grocery stores to engage in this effort. Funding for Snack It Up is provided by the Newman’s Own Foundation, with regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School program from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation, with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180:  Aiming for a “180” on Childhood Obesity
Based at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, our premise is unique:  Top national leaders from the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors committed to developing, measuring, and implementing evidence-based solutions to reverse the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity in America. For more information, visit www.ChildObesity180.org.

###

 

News
Massachusetts Cub Scouts Help Curb Childhood Obesity
July 2, 2014

Earn the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch by Drinking Right, Snacking Smart, and Moving More

(July 2, 2014) BOSTON, MA - Obesity affects 17% (12.5 million) of all children and adolescents in the United States. In Massachusetts, nearly one-third (30%) of children are considered either overweight or obese.  A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that as a result of this epidemic, children today may have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents.

To address this issue, Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University in Boston is working with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America to promote three healthy habits: drinking water instead of sugary beverages, snacking on fruits and vegetables, and adding physical activity to meetings and events.

Last year, Healthy Kids Out of School collaborated with the Boy Scouts of America to develop and launch the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch in New England. Today, Scouts in Massachusetts and around the country can earn the patch by serving water and healthy snacks at their meetings, and offering at least 15 minutes of physical activity. To date, 293 scouts from 19 different troops have earned the patch in Massachusetts.

Through its Growing Up Healthy initiative, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation provides funding for Healthy Kids Out of School to work with out-of-school-time programs in the New England area. “We know that children’s success in school and beyond, as well as their overall quality of life, is closely tied to health,” says the foundation’s president Karen Voci.  “Since 2007, we have been focusing our efforts on childhood obesity prevention and we know that the best way to improve the health of children is to improve the environments in which they spend most of their time.”

Nicki Pakkala of Quincy, MA is an assistant Den Leader who is making a difference in the health of her Scouts.  Last fall, Pakkala attended a training session offered by Healthy Kids Out of School and knew immediately that she needed to bring the program to her son’s Den. A health care professional by trade, Pakkala knew that a healthy lifestyle was all about making choices.  “The Healthy Unit Patch is all about education,” said Pakkala. “Learning to make smart, healthy decisions today will have a positive impact for these kids in the future.”

Pakkala has already seen the difference pay off. “The parents in the Den have been very supportive, which is key to the program’s success. One family decided to join their local YMCA to exercise together, while another made a strong effort to hike more during the winter months.” Pakkala feels so strongly about the effectiveness of the Healthy Unit Patch that she will be offering training to other Dens this fall.

Since launching the trainings in 2013, Healthy Kids Out of School has trained over 500 volunteer leaders across New England and is already seeing the impact of these efforts.  “Thousands of Scouts have already achieved the Patch, with more requests from leaders coming in every day,” says Alyssa Koomas, regional project manager for Healthy Kids Out of School. “When the Scout Leaders call in to request the patches, they tell us about the benefits of making these simple, healthy changes to their meetings – the Scouts have longer attention spans, enthusiasm for trying new things, and are just having a whole lot of fun.”

Funding from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supported the development of a “learning laboratory” across Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire to test, develop and deliver trainings and materials to support out-of-school-time programs that are adopting the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative’s three principles: Snack Smart, Drink Right and Move More.

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (www.HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180:  Aiming for a “180” on Childhood Obesity
Based at Tufts University’s Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, our premise is unique:  Top national leaders from the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors committed to developing, measuring, and implementing evidence-based solutions to reverse the alarming epidemic of childhood obesity in America. For more information, visit www.ChildObesity180.org.

Media Contact:
Jeff Landis
Communications Consultant, Healthy Kids Out of School
(978) 778-8711

Research
As Child Obesity Surges, One Town Finds Way to Slim
June 17, 2014

Most people think the battle against obesity takes willpower. But the town of Somerville knows it takes the will of an entire community.

Research
Shape Up Somerville two-year results: A community-based environmental change intervention sustains weight reduction in children
June 17, 2014

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that community-based environmental change intervention prevents undesirable weight gain in children.

Research
A Community Intervention Reduces BMI z-score in Children: Shape Up Somerville First Year Results
June 17, 2014

The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years).

Research
Shaping up Somerville: A community initiative in Massachusetts
June 17, 2014

We live in a era of low expectations for big ideas. On the environment, on health insurance, on the economy, the public and poliy-makers alike display real cynicism about achieving transformative change. Shape Up Somerville, however, demonstrates that communities have considerable ability to shape attitudes and behaviors that significantly improve public health and transform the quality of life for their citizens.

News
Maine Scout Leaders Help Curb Childhood Obesity
June 4, 2014

Earn the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch by Drinking Right, Snacking Smart, and Moving More

(June 4, 2014) BANGOR, ME - Obesity affects 17% (12.5 million) of all children and adolescents in the United States. In Maine, nearly one-third (28.2%) of children are considered either overweight or obese.  A study published by the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that as a result of this epidemic, children today may have a shorter life expectancy than that of their parents.

To address this issue, Healthy Kids Out of School, an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University in Boston, is working with organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America to promote three healthy habits: drinking water instead of sugary beverages, snacking on fruits and vegetables, and adding physical activity to meetings and events.

Last year, Healthy Kids Out of School collaborated with Boy Scout troops in New England to develop and launch the SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch. Today, Scouts in Maine and around the country can earn the patch by serving water and healthy snacks at their meetings, and offering at least 15 minutes of physical activity.

Through its Growing Up Healthy initiative, the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation provides funding for Healthy Kids Out of School to work with out-of-school-time programs in the New England area. “We know that children’s success in school and beyond, as well as their overall quality of life, is closely tied to health,” says the Foundation’s president Karen Voci.  “Since 2007, we have been focusing our efforts on childhood obesity prevention and we know that the best way to improve the health of children is to improve the environments in which they spend most of their time.”

A Community Effort in Bangor

Sandy Smith is a first- year Boy Scouts Den Leader who is making a difference in the health of his Scouts.  Last fall, Smith attended a training session offered by Healthy Kids Out of School and was inspired to implement some of the ideas at his next den meeting.

Smith’s efforts went above and beyond the basic requirements for the Healthy Unit Patch. “We wanted to do more, so we surveyed the parents of the Tiger Cubs to learn if anyone had backgrounds in nutrition or physical fitness,” said Smith. “One parent is a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital in Bangor.  She did six sessions on nutrition, and then a trainer picked up the physical fitness component of the patch.”

Smith also worked with the City of Bangor to coordinate a “sledding under the stars” event, and the boys enjoyed the event so much that many of their parents were inspired to join in.

“The SCOUTStrong Healthy Unit Patch training has been enlightening for me,” said Smith. “It has inspired me to become a role model for these boys and to find creative and fun ways to instill healthier habits for my den.”  

Eating Cars in Millinocket

Another Scout leader who was inspired by the Healthy Kids Out of School training is Angela Cote of Millinocket.

Cote wanted to create a unique experience for the boys to get them more excited about eating fruits and vegetables, and encourage them to try new foods.  In coordination with the annual Pinewood Derby activity where Scouts build and race model cars, Angela led a “Fruits and Vegetables Derby,” where each Scout created a car from fresh produce to eat as a snack.  

“The Scouts absolutely loved making the [produce] derby cars,” said Cote.  “The fruits and vegetables were pre-cut, and it was interesting watching the Scouts select their cars’ components.  Many gravitated to the fruits.  I plan to incorporate more vegetables in snacks in the future.”

Cote hopes to get other den leaders and parents involved with these activities in the future.

“There’s no better time than the present to start teaching children how to eat better. There are many small, easy ways to introduce healthy foods and exercises into a child’s life.  I want our Scouts to learn how to make the right choices now so that it becomes second nature to them when they’re older.”  

Since launching the trainings in 2013, Healthy Kids Out of School has trained over 500 volunteer leaders across New England and is already seeing the impact of these efforts.  “Hundreds of Scouts have already achieved the Patch, with more requests from leaders coming in every day,” says Alyssa Koomas, Regional Project Manager for Healthy Kids Out of School. “When the Scout Leaders call in to request the patches, they share the benefits they see by making these simple, healthy changes to their meetings – the Scouts have longer attention spans, enthusiasm for trying new things, and are just having a whole lot of fun.”

Funding from the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation supported the development of a “learning laboratory” across Massachusetts, Maine, and New Hampshire to test, develop and deliver trainings and materials to support out-of-school-time programs in adopting the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative’s three principles: Snack Smart, Drink Right and Move More.

About Healthy Kids Out of School
Healthy Kids Out of School is an initiative of ChildObesity180 at Tufts University. The initiative works with leaders around the country to promote three principles for healthy out-of-school time: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. The Healthy Kids Hub website (www.HealthyKidsHub.org) provides resources to support the implementation of these principles. Regional funding for the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative is provided by the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation with additional support from Newman’s Own Foundation.

About ChildObesity180
ChildObesity180, based at Tufts University, is an organization committed to cross-sector collaboration to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Using an evidence-based approach and business-minded practices, ChildObesity180 is developing and carrying out innovative initiatives to prevent childhood obesity. ChildObesity180 is comprised of national leaders from the public, nonprofit, academic, and private sectors that use their reach and expertise to drive an integrated national effort. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The JPB Foundation are strategic funders. Learn more at www.ChildObesity180.org

Media Contact:
Jeff Landis
(978) 778-8711

Video
Healthy Kids Out of School: Stories from the Field
May 20, 2014

The Notah Begay III Foundation and Boy Scouts of America are among eleven out-of-school-time organizations that have partnered with Healthy Kids Out of School to implement three principles: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. We visited an NB3 soccer program in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, and a Boy Scout summer camp in Kingston, MA to see how these programs are encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

Research
Bloomberg: The Practical Way to Fight Childhood Obesity
September 17, 2013

Bloomberg published a piece by Peter Orszag in September, 2013. ChildObesity180 is featured. Read the full article

Research/Documents

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Research
As Child Obesity Surges, One Town Finds Way to Slim
June 17, 2014

Most people think the battle against obesity takes willpower. But the town of Somerville knows it takes the will of an entire community.

Research
Shape Up Somerville two-year results: A community-based environmental change intervention sustains weight reduction in children
June 17, 2014

The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that community-based environmental change intervention prevents undesirable weight gain in children.

Research
A Community Intervention Reduces BMI z-score in Children: Shape Up Somerville First Year Results
June 17, 2014

The objective was to test the hypothesis that a community-based environmental change intervention could prevent weight gain in young children (7.6 +/- 1.0 years).

Research
Shaping up Somerville: A community initiative in Massachusetts
June 17, 2014

We live in a era of low expectations for big ideas. On the environment, on health insurance, on the economy, the public and poliy-makers alike display real cynicism about achieving transformative change. Shape Up Somerville, however, demonstrates that communities have considerable ability to shape attitudes and behaviors that significantly improve public health and transform the quality of life for their citizens.

Research
ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals
January 14, 2014

The ChildObesity180 Nutrition and Physical Activity Goals include the broad goals of each initiative, followed by the evidence and recommendations that guide and inform our work.

Research
Parent Perspectives on Nutrition and Physical Activity During Out-of-School Time
December 19, 2013

Objective
Out-of-school time (OST) programs serve a large, diverse population of children, including those at increased obesity risk. In this study, parents' perspectives about nutrition and physical activity (PA) during OST were assessed

Access Article

Research
Boston Globe: As we make strides against childhood obesity, we must not let up in our effort
October 30, 2013

Vice-chair and Director, Dr. Christina Economos, wrote a letter to the editor published in the Boston Globe in October, 2013. In it, she emphasizes the importance of staying the course in our efforts to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. Read the full article

Research
Bloomberg: The Practical Way to Fight Childhood Obesity
September 17, 2013

Bloomberg published a piece by Peter Orszag in September, 2013. ChildObesity180 is featured. Read the full article

Research
Children's perceptions of weight, obesity, nutrition, physical activity and related health and socio-behavioural factors.
August 1, 2013
Research
Science-Based Statement on Dietary Needs, Physical Activity Recommendations and Energy Balance for Children during Out-Of-School-Time Activities
July 31, 2013

This paper provides an overview of current research on the nutritional and physical activity requirements and behaviors of children and adolescents, and thus the scientific basis for the three guiding principles.

Presentations

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Presentation
Perceptions about meals eaten at restaurants in a nationally representative sample of US children
July 31, 2013

Poster presented at the International Society for Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity in Ghent, Belgium, May 2013. The main aims of the poster were to examine perceptions of restaurant side dishes that are healthier (fruit, vegetable) and less healthy (French fries), in a nationally representative sample of 8-to-18-year-old children.  

Presentation
Healthy Kids Out of School Poster: Presented at the CDC’s Weight of the Nation Conference
July 31, 2013

Healthy Kids Out of School presented a poster describing activities to date at the Weight of the Nation conference in Washington DC on May 7, 2012.

Videos

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Video
Healthy Kids Out of School: Stories from the Field
May 20, 2014

The Notah Begay III Foundation and Boy Scouts of America are among eleven out-of-school-time organizations that have partnered with Healthy Kids Out of School to implement three principles: Drink Right, Move More, and Snack Smart. We visited an NB3 soccer program in Santa Ana Pueblo, NM, and a Boy Scout summer camp in Kingston, MA to see how these programs are encouraging healthy eating and physical activity.

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Corona-Norco Unified School District, Corona, California
July 31, 2013

Students in the Corona-Norco Unified School District stay active with the 100 Mile Club, a school-based running and walking program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Natick Public Schools, Natick, Massachusetts
July 31, 2013

Students in Natick Public Schools stay active with BOKS, a before-school physical activity program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami, Florida
July 31, 2013

Miami-Dade County Public Schools are using technology to keep kids active. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Red Hawk Elementary Schools, Erie, Colorado
July 31, 2013

See how Red Hawk Elementary students stay active daily with a rotating "movement calendar." 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Hilton Head Island Elementary School, Hilton Head, South Carolina
July 31, 2013

Watch how the Strength Summed Up Team keeps children active before-school. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - CHALK/Just Move, New York, New York
July 31, 2013

Learn how children in New York City meet the state standard of 120 minutes of physical activity per week with the CHALK/Just Move program. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Overland Elementary School, Los Angeles, California
July 31, 2013

See how Overland in Motion keeps kids active at Overland Elementary in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - El Paso Independent School District, El Paso, Texas
July 31, 2013

Learn about the El Paso Independent School District (EPISD) "whole student" approach to wellness. 

Video
ASAP Innovation Competition Winner - Meadowview Elementary, Farmington, Minnesota
July 31, 2013

See how Meadowview Elementary students stay active with the Running Club and the Century Club.

Photo Galleries

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Infographics

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Audio

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