Our History

Why ChildObesity180?

In late 2009, the founders of ChildObesity180—Peter Dolan, former Chief Executive Officer of Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Drs. Christina Economos and Miriam Nelson, nationally-recognized researchers in nutrition, physical activity, and obesity at Tufts University Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy—believed that the serious issue of childhood obesity demanded a fresh approach. Learn more about the Leadership Team.

Their idea? Bring together scientific and academic experts with leaders from government, business, and not-for-profit organizations to address this national epidemic.

The founders envisioned a new model of collaboration to identify innovative and integrated solutions with the potential to work on a national scale.

This concept, together with the power of Tufts University and early support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, were the genesis of ChildObesity180.

Today a unique group of national leadersfrom the public, private, academic, and non-profit sectors is working to “do a 180”—that is, to reverse the trend of childhood obesity.

 

Childhood Obesity is a Complex Issue

Current childhood obesity statistics are dramatic and worrisome. Today's children may live shorter lives than their parents – a first in this nation’s history. Over the past 40 years, rates of obesity have doubled in 2- to 5-year-olds, quadrupled in 6- to 11-year-olds, and tripled in 12- to 19-year-olds. The causes of obesity are complex and interconnected. The environment created by culture, societal norms, community assets, and practices within the home all influence a child’s ability to make healthy choices and, ultimately, his or her weight status.

 

ChildObesity180’s Unique Approach

From the start, ChildObesity180’s approach to addressing the epidemic has been unique: combine rigorous research and evaluation, innovative strategies, multi-sector collaboration, and eventual widespread promulgation of evidence-based practices.

At the outset, we examined more than 100 recommendations from credible organizations, like the Institute of Medicine and the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity Prevention, to identify priority areas with the highest potential for national scale-up and probability of success in reversing the childhood obesity trend.

These rigorously-screened priority areas are the foundation of numerous initiatives created by ChildObesity180 to turn ideas into action: Active Schools Acceleration Project (ASAP), Healthy Kids Out of School, the Breakfast Initiative, and the Restaurant Initiative.

 

Our Children Deserve Nothing Less

ChildObesity180 is evaluating the results of each of these initiatives, identifying the programs and practices with the biggest potential impact, and disseminating them widely.

Concern for the future of our nation's children inspires us to do everything we can to reverse the trend of childhood obesity as quickly as possible. Our children deserve
nothing less.