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NICHQ, Child Policy Research Center, and Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative Release Newest State Fact Sheets Announcing Latest Childhood Obesity Levels

November 2009



The National Initiative for Children's Healthcare Quality, Child Policy Research Center and Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative Release Newest State Fact Sheets Announcing Latest Childhood Obesity Levels

National and State-based Fact Sheets Reveal Most Recent Data About Childhood Overweight and Obesity Prevalence

Boston, MA, November 23, 2009—The National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) today announced the completion and release of the 2009 State Fact Sheets, in partnership with the Cincinnati Children's Child Policy Research Center (CPRC) and the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI).

The State Fact Sheets provide the most recent national and state-based data regarding childhood overweight and obesity prevalence through data collected in 2007 by the National Survey of Children’s Health and analysis by the CAHMI’s Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (www.childhealthdata.org). The research documented a high prevalence of childhood obesity in the Southern and Appalachian regions of the country. At the same time, many of those areas are implementing policy initiatives in an effort to combat rising obesity levels in their states.

"States vary widely in the prevalence of obesity and obesity-related risk and disparities,” said Dr. Christina Bethell, Director of CAHMI. “The federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau supported National Survey of Children's Health is an important resource to help states understand how to best target efforts to prevent and treat childhood and youth overweight and obesity.”

In addition to providing state-wide prevalence and disparities data, the sheets also give updated information on state-specific policy initiatives targeted toward obesity prevention and healthy living. All policy data was provided by the annual report F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America published by the Trust for America’s Health. “Policy initiatives are key to reducing the burden of the childhood obesity epidemic” said Rachelle Mirkin, Project Executive at NICHQ. “States with high levels will soon need to decide which policies to implement to help reduce the frequency of childhood obesity in their communities.”

"Policy and program responses need to understand the unique prevalence and disparity characteristics in their state and communities as these data show widespread variation. Design solutions need to address specific state, community, and family needs," explained Dr. Lisa Simpson, Director of the Child Policy Research Center.

“The state fact sheets are an important resource for information on obesity prevalence, relevant policies, and up-to-date grant initiatives at the state level,” said Dr. William Dietz of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Information is power and these data are crucial in the fight against childhood obesity.”

NICHQ has long been a leader in the fight against childhood obesity. Since 2003, NICHQ staff and faculty worked directly with practices and programs to facilitate the engagement of clinicians in community change and improve clinical practice in Maine, New Mexico, Delaware, New York, Washington and Massachusetts. In 2007, NICHQ launched the Childhood Obesity Action Network (COAN) to link clinicians and policy makers together, provide tools and materials for clinical and policy change, and promote innovation through social networking. The State Fact Sheets are now available online at www.nichq.org and www.childhealthdata.org and are free to the public.

To access the State Fact Sheets, please join NICHQ’s Childhood Obesity Action Network (COAN). Joining COAN can be done in three simple steps: click here, enter your e-mail address and create a password. You will then have access to a web-based national network of healthcare professionals, resources and publications on childhood obesity.

About NICHQ
Founded in 1999, the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) is an independent, action-oriented organization dedicated to achieving a world in which all children receive the high quality healthcare they need. Led by experienced pediatric healthcare professionals, NICHQ’s mission is to improve children’s health by improving the systems responsible for the delivery of children’s healthcare. For more information, visit www.nichq.org.

About the Child Policy Research Center

The Child Policy Research Center (CPRC), part of the Division of Health Policy and Clinical Effectiveness, was created in 1999 and develops, translates and communicates evidence to measurably improve child health and well-being and the quality of health care for children. Our partners include community, local, state and national policy makers, program managers and advocates. The Center addresses the most urgent challenges facing children and families. For more information, visit www.cincinnatichildrens.org/cprc.

About the CAHMI
Established in 1998, the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative (CAHMI) is a national initiative dedicated to advancing local, state and national evidence-based and consumer-centered methods and data on child and adolescent health and health care quality.  Among other efforts, the CAHMI runs the National Data Resource Center for Child and Adolescent Health (www.childhealthdata.org), which coordinates and supports the effective use of national and state children’s health data sponsored by the federal Maternal and Child Health Bureau. For more information, visit www.cahmi.org.

 

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