The Foundation's initiative, New Jersey Addresses Childhood Obesity, was designed to support efforts to seed community and state partnerships to prevent childhood obesity in New Jersey.This project will provide vital information for planning and evaluating interventions aimed at preventing childhood obesity in five New Jersey municipalities. According to the report of the New Jersey Obesity Prevention Taskforce, this state has the highest incidence of obesity in low-income children ages 2 to 5. Reliable data for school-aged children in the nation and adolescents in New Jersey are not available. Effective interventions for addressing childhood obesity in New Jersey will require heretofore unavailable information on who is most at risk (locale and characteristics) and on contributing factors that can be addressed through interventions. The project has two major objectives. First, generate population estimates of the prevalence of obesity and overweight status among children ages 3-18, based on parent reports of height and weight, in five cities: Newark, Trenton, Camden, New Brunswick, and Vineland, as well as sub-areas within each city. To the extent possible, obtain actual measured heights and weights of children from the school districts (without student identifiers) in those cities and use these data to validate and, if appropriate, improve upon the parent-reported estimates. Second, identify factors that contribute to overweight and obesity among children in these communities to guide the design of interventions, addressing the relative importance of socio-demographic characteristics, parents' attitudes and perceptions, aspects of the physical activity and food environment, and other neighborhood characteristics. Identify the contribution of these factors to children's eating and physical activity behaviors.The major vehicles for addressing these issues will be a household survey of families with children in the five cities, existing neighborhood-level data on the food and physical activity environments, and de-identified measurements of heights and weights recorded at the local schools. A comprehensive communications strategy will include broad dissemination and discussion of the findings from the study with key stakeholders at the community and at the state level.
Amount Awarded $1,683,000.00
Awarded on: 4/22/2008
Time frame: 5/15/2008 - 11/14/2011
Grant Number: 64253