Community Organizing to Expand Access to Healthy Food and Safe Places to Play

In 2002, a group of leaders in public health, healthcare, research, government, and community advocacy and programming launched the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC). It is housed within the Center for Obesity Management and Prevention at the Children's Memorial Research Center of Children's Memorial Hospital.

From March 2007 to February 2009, CLOCC disseminated its community-organizing CO-OP (Community Organizing for Obesity Prevention) model, designed to enlist local partners in combating childhood obesity, to neighborhoods, throughout Chicago. CLOCC staff also provided technical assistance to organizations in five other cities on applying their consortium model to prevent obesity.

Key Results

  • Consortium staff and members developed materials on the CO-OP model and used them to disseminate it.
  • Assisted by community networkers from the consortium, Englewood and Lower West Side Chicago began implementing the CO-OP model.
  • Project staff established partnerships in three of the four newly targeted neighborhoods and identified a lead organization to host the networking interns, who then cultivated more local partners.
  • Five Chicago neighborhoods established or expanded Muévete (Move) and other physical activity programs.
  • Project staff worked with partners to promote state and local policies to prevent obesity. For example, the consortium convened and staffed Chicago's Inter-Departmental Task Force on Childhood Obesity, which completed a plan for a coordinated, citywide approach to the problem.
  • In providing technical assistance to organizations in five cities around the country to help them apply the consortium model to combating obesity, project staff engaged with representatives of some 150 organizations in Dallas; Orlando, Fla.; Kansas City, Mo.; Raleigh/Wake County, N.C.; and East Chicago, Ind.
  • The U.S. Surgeon General recognized the consortium as a Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevention Champion in 2008.