Shape Up Somerville
2002 – 2005
Shape up Somerville was a multi-faceted intervention to prevent obesity in culturally diverse, high-risk, early-elementary school children (grades 1-3) in Somerville, MA. Shape up Somerville was the first study to empirically evaluate the merits of a whole of community approach to reduce childhood obesity, demonstrating a reduction in BMI among participants.
- School food improvements: Enhancements in the quality and quantity of healthy foods available for students in the Somerville schools
- Nutrition education: Creation and implementation of an innovative classroom-based health curriculum and after-school cooking and nutrition education program
- Family and community engagement: Extensive engagement with families and community members
- Built environment: Implementation of a community walking program with the creation of Safe Routes to School, a walking “school bus,” and traffic calming campaign
- Leadership buy-in: Education of policy makers about the link between city planning and public health issues such as obesity
- Community-wide priority setting: Creation of a comprehensive community Wellness Policy.
- Multisector engagement: The Shape Up Somerville Task Force was a multisector group of leaders and community members who helped implement and evaluate the SUS intervention, informing and supporting the project every step of the way. While membership has changed, the SUS Task Force still meets to this day.
Children in Balance Leadership Institute
2009 – 2010
We engaged leaders in 20 different communities across the country to educate and empower them to improve childhood health.
- Hands-on trainings: Each community sent a team of representatives from school food service, schools, government, public health department, community organizations to participate in the 4-day Community Leadership Institute.
- Technical assistance to drive evidence-based implementation: Topics that were covered included: working with school food service to improve school food, building community coalitions, strategic use of communication campaigns, and implementing nutrition and physical activity curricula.
2009 – present
ChildObesity180 brings the best from science, business, and technology to reverse the trend of childhood obesity. We are committed to driving impact and accelerating progress by providing leadership, fostering collaboration, and building partnerships at senior levels of a range of organizations that are positioned to play a pivotal role in improving health across the lifespan, from prenatal and early childhood to adolescence and early adulthood.
- Multisector leadership and collaboration: ChildObesity180 used its cross-sector composition, diverse connections, and expertise to generate urgency, traction, and impact to drive change on a national scale. We worked toward accelerating the pace of change and preventing childhood obesity in communities across the nation. Our commitment to multi-sector collaboration was reflected in the composition of the Charter Membership, core leadership, staff, and partners
- Sustainability: From the inception of an idea to the implementation of our national initiatives, ChildObesity180 focused on sustainable, long-term impact. Innovative partnerships and engaging diverse funders were two of the strategies we emphasized in order to develop and implement our initiatives. Over time, we envision that the types of solutions developed by our initiatives will be embedded and sustained in childhood obesity prevention efforts across the nation.
- Evidence based interventions: ChildObesity180 was committed to using the best available scientific evidence to inform our decisions. This means that we used evidence-based research to develop our initiatives and monitor and measure our performance against established goals. Whenever compelling new evidence was generated, through our own research efforts or through the work of other experts, we updated our approach based on this new knowledge.
- Diverse portfolio of iniatives: Recognizing that no one solution will solve the childhood obesity epidemic or the inequities among demographic groups, we were committed to executing a diverse portfolio of high-impact initiatives that collectively influenced a child’s daily energy balance.