National Urban League Tackles Childhood Obesity

Dates of Project: December 2009–March 2012

Field of Work: Childhood obesity prevention

Problem Synopsis: Childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions in America and is disproportionally prevalent in low-income communities and communities of color. To address this public health challenge, RWJF provided funding to the National Urban League, thereby enabling them to add childhood obesity prevention efforts in their policy and program activities.

Synopsis of the Work: The National Urban League Policy Institute developed their capacity to promote childhood obesity prevention, provided learning tools and information related to childhood obesity prevention to their nearly 100 affiliates in 36 states and the District of Columbia, advocated for changes in federal policies that impact childhood obesity, and forged partnership with other national organizations to address childhood obesity prevention.

"Through the RWJF grant, the National Urban League became a national voice for childhood obesity prevention," said Jacqueline C. Ayers, JD, legislative director for Education and Health Policy, National Urban League Policy Institute.

Key Results

  • The National Urban League employed its website, publications, and conferences to promote childhood obesity prevention among its nearly 100 affiliates.
  • The league participated in the Healthy Kids Out of School initiative, led by the RWJF-supported ChildObesity180: Reverse the Trend program, which developed a set of principles to guide all out-of-school-time programs.
  • The league collected more than 2,300 signatures on an online petition urging the U.S. Department of Agriculture to adopt new nutrition standards for school lunches, as authorized by the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act.

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Childhood obesity prevention efforts by the National Urban League reach two million people of color.