In the spring of 2006, Connecticut adopted legislation that put it in the forefront of improving school nutrition. But many municipal leaders were already promoting healthy living for their youngest residents. To explore the various approaches they've taken, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) and the Connecticut Commission on Children (COC) held a forum at the Lyceum Resource and Conference Center on Hartford on June 27, 2006. It was entitled, "Food for Thought: Acting Locally to Address Childhood Obesity."
Municipal officials heard their colleagues outline an assortment of promising initiatives to combat childhood obesity, including walking trails, farmers markets, and outreach programs. Funding opportunities and statewide plans were also discussed.
Over the past two decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled. If the trend continues, this generation of children could be the first to live fewer years on average than their parents. Obesity is also tied to the dramatic rise in health care costs; in 2003, obesity-related health problems accounted for $665 million in Medicaid and Medicare costs in Connecticut.
The Childhood Obesity Initiative is a project of CCM, the Commission, and the National League of Cities (NLC). It is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The primary goal of the effort is to heighten awareness among municipal leaders of this growing epidemic.
"Childhood Obesity in Connecticut: A Health Epidemic," a fact sheet from the Connecticut Commission on Children. Updated 9/28/06
Contact information for the Connecticut Childhood Obesity Advisory Council, a collaboration between the Commission and the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
"Lessions Learned: Promoting Physical Activity at the Community Level," a 38-page report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
"Financing Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs: Federal Funding Sources and Other Strategies," a 65-page report from The Finance Project. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
"Youth Obesity Newsletter," February 2006 issue, from the National League of Cities' Institute for Youth, Education, and Families. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
Public Act No. 06-63: An Act Concerning Healthy Food and Beverages in Schools. This is the new school nutrition law. For the legislative history, click here. For a COC news release summarizing the law, click here.
"School Beverage Guidelines," a background report from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, which was founded by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
Public Act No. 06-44: An Act Promoting the Physical Needs of Students. This law, adopted by the 2006 General Assembly, encourages exercise and student wellness in schools by requiring local and regional boards of education to adopt guidelines to coordinate services and programs. For the legislative history, click here. For a COC news release summarizing the law, click here.
"Childhood Obesity," an overview of the latest issue of The Future of Children, a publication of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institution. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
"Preventing Obesity and Chronic Diseases Through Good Nutrition and Physical Activity," from the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This PDF must be downloaded from the organization's website.
"Improving Access to Healthy Foods: A Primer for Government Officials," from Active Living Leadership, an initiative to support government leaders in promoting good health. Supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention Program of the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Links to local health departments - Courtesy of the Connecticut Association of Directors of Health (CADH)
Walking routes suggested by the Norwalk Department of Health.
Healthy Eating Active Living Resource Toolkit - A CADH resource.
Institute for Youth, Education, & Families - A resource of the National League of Cities.
Healthy Youth! - A resource of the Centers for Disease Control, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
U.S. Surgeon General fact sheet on overweight and obesity.
5-3-1 for Healthy Kids - A healthy-eating initiative developed by a coalition of state agencies and other organizations.
No Child Left Inside - A Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection initiative to encourage families to enjoy state parks and forests.
Alliance for a Healthier Generation - Created by the American Heart Association and the Clinton Foundation.
Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity - Based at Yale University.
Active Living Leadership - An initiative to support government
leaders in promoting good health. Supported by the Robert Wood
This page was last updated: Tuesday, September 28, 2010