Women In Government (WIG) has received a grant of $300,000 from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to help communities increase children’s access to affordable healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.
The grant was awarded through Leadership for Healthy Communities, an RWJF national program that assists state and local leaders in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.
Today, more than 23.5 million children and adolescents in the United States—nearly one in three young people—are either obese or overweight, putting them at higher risk for serious, even life-threatening health problems. However, recent data shows that states and cities that have taken a comprehensive policy approach to preventing obesity are beginning to see declines in obesity rates among children.
“Policy changes that make it easier for kids and families to eat healthier foods and be active are helping to improve the health of our nation’s children, families and communities,” said Maya Rockeymoore, director of Leadership for Healthy Communities. “We are proud to work with policy-maker associations whose creativity and commitment are helping to build national momentum around this issue.”
Women In Government will provide educational resources about childhood obesity to women state legislators at regional conferences and healthcare summits throughout the year, such as the Childhood Obesity Task Force meeting that was held in fall 2013. Women In Government will provide legislators with technical assistance, information and materials to support their policy work, as well as direct support in conducting community outreach, media training and media relations.
“Women In Government looks forward to collaborating with women state legislators to increase opportunities for healthy eating and active living with the goal of reducing childhood obesity in their communities,” said Marjorie Maginn, former WIG president and executive director. “This project serves as a critical part of our ongoing efforts to improve the health of our children and communities.”
Specifically, Women In Government will focus on the following priorities:
- increasing access to affordable healthy foods;
- increasing access to parks, playgrounds, walking paths, bike lanes and other opportunities to be physically active; and
- helping schools and youth-serving programs increase children’s physical activity levels.
“Policy-makers want to help children and families lead healthier lives,” said Dwayne C. Proctor, director of RWJF’s childhood obesity team. “Leadership for Healthy Communities harnesses that energy by providing information and resources to help state and local leaders understand which approaches have the greatest potential for success.”
Women In Government Foundation, Inc. is a national, non-profit, non-partisan organization serving all 1,788 women state legislators, and providing leadership opportunities, networking, expert forums, and educational resources. For more information, visit www.womeningovernment.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Leadership for Healthy Communities is a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation designed to support local and state government leaders nationwide in their efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic through public policies that promote active living, healthy eating and access to healthy foods. For more information, visit www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.org
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation’s largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, measurable, and timely change. In 2007, the Foundation committed $500 million toward its goal of reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. This is the largest commitment any foundation has made to the issue. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook.