The Partnership for a Healthier America, an organization formed by several leading health-related nonprofits and foundations, including the California Endowment, Kaiser Permanente, Nemours, the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, and the Robert Wood Johnson and the W.K. Kellogg foundations, has announced that it will work to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity in the United States.
The nonpartisan partnership will provide support to a newly announced White House initiative, Let's Move, that is working to help solve the obesity challenge within a generation. While the partnership's effort will include developing a network of members from the business, government, academic, and nonprofit sectors who will commit to accelerating efforts targeting childhood obesity, the partnership will not conduct programmatic activities, engage in grassroots organizing, or compete with existing foundations.
In addition, the partnership will work to promote a broad understanding among all stakeholders about the roles that healthy food, physical activity, and the environment play in reversing childhood obesity; facilitate and measure the impact of members' commitments using clear and transparent targets; and connect potential partners in the private and nonprofit sectors to each other and the appropriate points of contact in government to ensure efficient leveraging of actions and the sharing of knowledge and lessons at the local, state, and national levels.
Let's Move, a public awareness campaign led by First Lady Michelle Obama, will work to offer parents the tools and information they need to make healthy choices for their children, get healthier food into the nation's schools, ensure that families have access to healthy, affordable food in their communities, and increase opportunities for kids to be physically active both in and out of school.
"Since 1980, the number of obese children in our nation has tripled, and obesity now rivals smoking as the largest cause of preventable death and disease. This new foundation creates an important public-private alliance that will increase national attention and commitments to the goal of ending the epidemic of childhood obesity within a generation," said Larry Kocot, the partnership's interim leader. "We are very pleased that the First Lady has agreed to serve as honorary chair of the Partnership for a Healthier America, and we look forward to announcing honorary vice chairs and an independent, nonpartisan board of directors in the very near future."