Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project at UNCOM

Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project Newsletter


Working together for healthy eating and active living.

In This Issue
MCOPP Meetings
Healthy Weight
Upcoming Events
In the News
Funding Opportunities
Join the MCOPP Mailing List
Join Our Mailing List
Like MCOPP on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
Vol. 3, Issue 1February 2013

Greetings from the Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project (MCOPP). We hope 2013 is off to a great start for you! This is the first of a regular series of 2013 MCOPP newsletters. In this newsletter, you will find information about upcoming MCOPP meetings, events throughout Milwaukee, and a re-cap of the January 2013 MCOPP meeting that focused on a discussion of the book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter.


Join us in our mission of working together for healthy eating and active living. We envision a Milwaukee with reduced childhood obesity where the healthy choice is the easy choice. Thanks for your support of the Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project.


Best wishes,

Sarah O'Connor (MCOPP Manager, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee)

David Nelson (MCOPP Director, Medical College of Wisconsin)


We welcome your participation in the Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project (MCOPP). Click here for a one-page information sheet about MCOPP. The MCOPP Leadership Team meets on a monthly basis. If you are interested in working together for healthy eating and active living, you are invited to join us on the first Tuesday of each month from 12-1:30pm at various community locations.
2013 Leadership Team Meeting Schedule
  • Tuesday, April 2, 12-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, May 7, 12-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, June 4, 12-1:30pm
  • No July meeting
  • Tuesday, August 6, 12-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, September 3, 12-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, October 1, 12-1:30pm
  • Tuesday, November 5, 10:30am-1:30pm


MCOPP's subcommittees are working on policy and environment change strategies focused on: (1) healthy food and beverages; (2) land use opportunities for active lifestyles, healthy eating, and recreation; (3) active living; and (4) curriculum and professional development. Please contact us if you are interested in serving on a subcommittee. Upcoming subcommittee meetings are listed below.


Healthy Food and Beverage Subcommittee

Wednesday, March 13, 2:30-4pm

Agape Community Center, 6100 N. 42nd Street


Healthy Eating/Active Living Curriculum & Professional Development Subcommittee

Tuesday, February 26, 1-2:30pm

Tuesday, March 26, 1-2:30pm

MPS Central Services Building, 5225 W. Vliet Street, Room 210/211

Land Use Subcommittee
Thursday, February 28, 1-2:30pm
Thursday, March 28, 1-2:30pm
COA Goldin Center, 2320 W. Burleigh St.


Contact Sarah (414-978-2023 or for more information and to RSVP for any of the meetings listed above.


Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements by Tom Rath and Jim Harter

2.5.2013 mcopp meeting
Meeting participants discuss strategies for career wellbeing.
On February 5th, MCOPP partners met for our monthly meeting hosted by Neighborhood House of Milwaukee. We are grateful for the support of our funder Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, who provided MCOPP with specific funding for capacity-building that enabled us to provide MCOPP partners with the book Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Partners were given the books prior to the February meeting so that they could come prepared to learn and share strategies for achieving wellness, personally and professionally. The February meeting consisted of a review of the five essential elements and a break-out into five small groups where we shared and learned strategies and best practices for achieving wellness in the five essential areas. According to authors Tom Rath and Jim Harter, the five essential elements of wellbeing are Career, Social, Financial, Physical, and Community.

Authors' Recommendations for Boosting Career Wellbeing:

  1. Every day, use your strengths.
  2. Identify someone with a shared mission who encourages your growth. Spend more time with this person.
  3. Opt into more social time with the people and teams you enjoy being around at work.
Authors' Recommendations for Boosting Social Wellbeing:
  1. Spend six hours a day socializing with friends, family, and colleagues (this time includes work, home, phone, e-mail, and other communication).
  2. Strengthen the mutual connections in your network.
  3. Mix social time with physical activity. For example, take a long walk with a friend so you can motivate each other to be healthy.
Authors' Recommendations for Boosting Financial Wellbeing:
  1. Spend money on experiences such as vacations and outings with friends/loved ones.
  2. Spend on others instead of solely on material possessions.
  3. Establish default systems (automated payments and savings) that lessen daily worry about money.
Authors' Recommendations for Boosting Physical Wellbeing:
  1. Get at least 20 minutes of physical activity each day, ideally in the morning to improve your mood throughout the day.
  2. Sleep enough to feel well-rested (generally seven to eight hours) but not too long (more than nine hours).
  3. Set positive defaults when you shop for groceries. Load up on natural foods that are red, green, and blue.
Authors' Recommendations for Boosting Community Wellbeing:
  1. Identify how you can contribute to your community based on your personal mission.
  2. Tell people about your passions and interests so they can connect you with relevant groups and causes.
  3. Opt in to a community group or event. Even if you start small, start now.


Move more, eat less. Turning off the television and skipping the sugary drinks can help.

From the Harvard School of Public Health Nutrition Source Update.



Weight is a tough issue. Most people know how important it is to keep weight in check yet struggle to do so. And it's understandable in today's world where calorie-packed food comes fast and easy. But, the health benefits of staying at a healthy weight are huge and well worth the effort. In addition to lowering the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and high blood pressure, keeping weight in check can also lower the risk of many different cancers, including breast, colon, kidney, pancreas, and esophagus.

Because most people put on a pound or two every year, the first, and easiest, goal should be to stop any more weight gain, which has big health benefits itself. After that, getting weight down to a healthy level should be the next step.



Quick Tips: Healthy weight control

1. Ban the strange diets.They may work in the short term, but almost any extreme diet is doomed to fail. Your best friends when it comes to losing weight-and keeping it off? Choosing healthy foods (check out the Healthy Eating Pyramid for ideas) and eating smaller portions, slowly.

2. Be more active.
If there's one best weight loss mantra it's "exercise, exercise, exercise." Choose activities you enjoy and do them every day. Exercising with a friend can help keep you on track. For tips on how to fit exercise into your lifestyle, check out the Staying Activesection of Nutrition Source.

3. Turn off the television.
Watching less TV can give you more time to be active-and less time to be enticed by junk food ads. Two easy ways to cut back on TV-watching: take the TV out of your bedroom, and make sure it's off during meals.

4. Skip the sugary drinks.
Drinking sugared soda, fruit drinks, or juice can give you several hundred calories a day without realizing it. Research suggests children and adults who drink soda or other sugary drinks are more likely to gain weight than those who don't, and that switching from these to water or unsweetened drinks can reduce weight.

5. Think before you eat.
Before you mindlessly reach for a snack, pause and ask yourself, Am I really hungry? Is there a healthier choice? It's easy to lose sight of good food choices in today's ad-crazy world. Simple questions like these can help keep us on track.

The Milwaukee Childhood Obesity Prevention Project (MCOPP) is an inclusive coalition with the goal of reducing childhood obesity in Milwaukee through environmental and policy changes that promote healthy eating and active living.


Our members include leaders and staff from the eight partner agencies of the United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM), youth-serving organizations, community residents, and experts in the fields of nutrition/dietetics, exercise science, education, public health, and medicine.


MCOPP is funded by Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities, a national program office of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.