Launched and operated under ACHI’s leadership in partnership with PolicyLink (Oakland, CA) from January 2009 through November 2011, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity (RWJF Center) was part of a multi-faceted initiative undertaken nationally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.
The Center’s strategy focused on policy and environmental change as a key component of the movement to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. The Center’s mission included a specific focus on decreasing disparities in childhood obesity among communities of color, impoverished areas, and regions disproportionately affected by obesity.
The leadership of the RWJF Center worked through direct education, dialogue and engagement with many national, federal agency, and presidential administration partners to achieve substantial national policy changes for the childhood obesity prevention movement, including:
- Formation of the President’s Task Force on Obesity (February 2010)
- Direct and indirect support through federal agencies in the development of the “President’s Task Force Action Plan: Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation” (May 2010)
- Support for various components of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative including developmental guidance, recruitment from the RWJF field network, and increased awareness of participatory opportunities
- Dissemination of information and mobilization of support toward passage of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act
RWJF Center staff also engaged in the field to promote policy change across a variety of different communities, mobilized state actions to support healthier communities, educated policy makers at all levels of government, and provided technical support technical assistance and communications support to help communities achieve goals. As a result, the RWJF Center catalyzed broad commitments to combating childhood obesity among stakeholders in Arkansas and across the nation who will continue to work toward the common goal of reversal of the epidemic.
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