AJPM Announces Winners of Second Childhood Obesity Challenge

AJPM Announces Winners of Second Childhood Obesity Challenge

January 15, 2013

Healthy Kids Out of School wins policy-focused round

San Diego, Calif., Jan. 15, 2013– The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) is pleased to announce Healthy Kids Out of School as the winner of Round 2 of the Childhood Obesity Challenge, an online competition for innovative ideas to combat the childhood obesity epidemic.

The second round of the competition focused on policies aimed at reducing obesity and/or related behaviors, as well as new strategies that promote adoption of these policies by key stakeholders.  The competition received 34 entries.

The winning entry, an initiative of ChildObesity180, convened senior leaders of nine of the country’s largest out-of-school programs to develop organizational guidelines to promote healthy snacks, beverages and opportunities for physical activity.  The group comprises Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, National 4H Council, National Council of La Raza, National Council of Youth Sports, National Urban League, Pop Warner, US Youth Soccer, and YMCA of the USA, who helped to establish three guiding principles:

  • Drink Right--Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Move More--Boost movement and physical activity in all programs; and
  • Snack Smart--Fuel up on fruits and vegetables.

Healthy Kids Out of School will also be launching the Healthy Kids Hub website to provide the organizations’ staff and volunteers with resources to implement the three principles, planned for the first quarter of 2013.

As the winner of the competition, Healthy Kids Out of School will be featured in an upcoming issue of AJPM and the submitting team, led by Peter R. Dolan, Chair of ChildObesity180, and Christina D. Economos, PhD, Vice Chair and Director of ChildObesity180 and Associate Professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, will receive $2,500.

“In this round of the competition, we chose to focus on policy as a mechanism for enabling broad dissemination of effective solutions to childhood obesity,” said Jill Waalen, Deputy Editor of AJPM.  “By getting these large national out-of-school programs on the same page to promote these simple interventions, Healthy Kids Out of School has the potential to reach tens of millions of kids nationwide.”

Tied for second prize of the competition were Movin’ Afterschool, submitted by Jennifer Huberty of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Mary Balluff of the Douglas County (Nebraska) Health Department; and License to Kale, submitted by a team from ChangeLab Solutions of Oakland, CA.

Judges for the competition represent diverse areas of expertise, reflecting a Challenge goal of drawing new ideas from sectors outside of academia.  They include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Eduardo Sanchez; Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Social Dynamics & Policy Ross Hammond;  Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Jose Alvarez; GPS Capital Partners principal and co-founder Lisa Richter; New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley; San Diego School of Medicine Professor James Sallis; and University of Minnesota School of Public Health Professor and Senior Associate Dean Mary Story.

The AJPM Childhood Obesity Challenge is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which is working to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015. AJPM is working with the Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio to complement those efforts by conducting the Childhood Obesity Challenge.

“By allowing AJPM to recognize projects and ideas that are not well-captured by the traditional manuscript format, we hope the Challenge will help accelerate the process of finding effective solutions to childhood obesity,” Waalen said. “We look forward to continuing to develop crowd-sourcing as a way to expand the medical publishing model.”

The next round of the competition will be open for submissions beginning February 19, 2013.  Individuals and teams interested in participating in the upcoming competition are encouraged to consult the Challenge website at ajpmchallenge.calit2.net for more details.

About the American Journal of Preventive Medicine: The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the official journal of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. It publishes articles in the areas of prevention research, teaching, practice and policy. Original research is published on interventions aimed at the prevention of chronic and acute disease and the promotion of individual and community health. Of particular emphasis are papers that address the primary and secondary prevention of important clinical, behavioral and public health issues such as injury and violence, infectious disease, women's health, smoking, sedentary behaviors and physical activity, nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse. Papers also address educational initiatives aimed at improving the ability of health professionals to provide effective clinical prevention and public health services. Papers on health services research pertinent to prevention and public health are also published. The journal also publishes official policy statements from the two co-sponsoring organizations, review articles, media reviews, and editorials. Finally, the journal periodically publishes supplements and special theme issues devoted to areas of current interest to the prevention community.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: 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, meaningful, and timely change. 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. Follow the Foundation on Twitter www.rwjf.org/twitter or Facebook, www.rwjf.org/facebook.