CATCH Kids Club Featured at American Public Health Conference "Moving the Needle on Childhood Obesity"
|CATCH Team Members Eileen Avato, Kathy Chichester, |
and Beth Gustafson Wheeler, Director of Community
Health, Foundation for Healthy Communities
The CATCH team travels to a great number of trade shows and conferences nationally, and we are always excited to meet CATCH Champions on the road. At the recent American Public Health Association Conference in Boston, we were thrilled to meet and chat with leadership from the Growing Up Healthy initiative from Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare, and the Foundation for Healthy Communities.
Since 2007, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation's leadership and funding initiative, entitled Growing Up Healthy, has had the goal to reduce childhood obesity among children ages 6-12 where Harvard Pilgrim Health Care operates- Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. The strategy behind the Foundation's work is to share knowledge with stakeholders, expand promising efforts from the best, evidence-based practices, and inform policy champions. The Foundation believes that collaboration is critical to make a measurable impact, partnering with other Foundations and organizations on projects that have a wide reach within their state. The NH CATCH Kids Club is one of their featured success stories.
The NH CATCH Kids Club (CKC) project is an initiative that aims to increase physical activity and healthy eating in the out-of-school setting. Aligned with NH's statewide initiative, NH Healthy Eating Active Living (NH HEAL), its goals are to increase the number of out-of-school organizations that: 1) include healthy eating and physical activity in organizational goals; 2) adopt physical activity and healthy eating policies; 3) offer at least 15-20 minutes of daily physical activity; 4) offer healthy snacks. And they have been quite successful!
In five years, CKC has reached 108 sites representing 9 out of 10 counties in NH. Fifty-three training's have been completed, 919 staff have been trained, and 29 CKC trainers developed. Beth Gustafson Wheeler, Director of Community Health, Foundation for Healthy Communities reported that the greatest improvements were seen in: 1) Inclusion of physical activity and healthy eating in organizational goals; 2) implementation of inclusive, non-elimination physical activity; 3) adoption of healthy snack policies; and 4) non-educational screen time discouraged. In addition, policy and practice changes resulted in increased physical activity time, and most project sites offer CKC games at least 25-30 minutes 3 to 5 days/week. "Through training and technical assistance, sites can effectively assess their environments, set measurable goals, and develop strategies that result in increases in activity time."