Statewide Iowa — Making sure kids are growing up at a healthy weight from their very first days is a critical way to prevent obesity among adults. Most kids entering adolescence with obesity will still have obesity as an adult, so starting early is key. The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) will be participating in a Learning Collaborative Partnership with the Prevention Research Center on Nutrition and Physical Activity at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HPRC), along with other state and local health departments. All agencies will explore strategies to encourage healthy weight among children in their communities.

The project will include modeling two strategies related to helping children move more in school physical education classes and utilizing electronic decision support for pediatric medical providers to recognize and treat childhood obesity. As part of this project, IDPH will leverage existing policies and community-based efforts that help children be more active, eat well and grow up at healthy weight. IDPH partners in the project include the Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Medical Society, Iowa Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Blank Children’s Hospital, Iowa Heathiest State Initiative and United Way of Central Iowa.

The Learning Collaborative Partnership (LCP) began in 2015 as part of the Childhood Obesity Intervention Cost-Effectiveness Study (CHOICES) Project, one of the HPRC’s key projects. The CHOICES Project is working to help reverse the national obesity epidemic by identifying strategies to reduce childhood obesity that have strong evidence for effectiveness and offer the best value for the money invested.

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