Field of Work: community organizing around childhood obesity in communities of color
Problem Synopsis: Nearly one-third of all U.S. children and adolescents are either overweight or obese, putting them at higher risk for multiple diseases, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association. The epidemic of childhood obesity is most difficult to address in low-income communities of color, where there is less access to healthy, affordable foods and safe places for children to play.
Synopsis of the Work: Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE) is a $15 million RWJF national program that takes on the challenges of childhood obesity through grassroots community organizing and policy advocacy. Organizations in 22 communities of color are incorporating the obesity issue into their broader social justice work—for example, by highlighting the lack of parks or access to fresh foods in poor neighborhood as evidence of inequitable resource distribution, as well as a barrier to healthy living.