June 26, 2012

NICHQ CEO Charlie Homer Interviewed in June Issue of Childhood Obesity

NICHQ President and CEO Charlie Homer, MD, MPH, was interviewed in the June issue of the journal Childhood Obesity. In the interview, which appears in the "Experts Weigh In" section, Dr. Homer talks specifically about NICHQ's Collaborate for Healthy Weight project, which recently entered its second phase with the addition of 40 new teams to the initial group of 10.

From the article:

Collaborate for Healthy Weight is a program in which you select local teams from around the country and assist them with their initiatives geared toward community health. First off, could you give us an example of a team you’ve been working with?

Dr. Homer: There are two teams that would be good to highlight here—one on each coast of the country. First is the San Diego Healthy Weight Collaborative, based primarily in Chula Vista in San Diego County. They have identified a subset of the overall County (adult and pediatric residents of the South Bay area) that has particularly high need. They serve a demanding population with very high rates of obesity.

As we have encouraged all of the community teams, they have identified a population of focus. Their population is served at a community health center, at a school, and early childhood program. They have adopted a common message to use across all those settings. Like many of the teams, they have adopted the 5-2-1-0 messaging (5 fruits and vegetables per day, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 hour of physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks). And then they went on to test that message. They have done focus groups in multiple settings to make sure that the message is effective and understood, which I think is extremely helpful.

Building on their message, they are driving change in each of the settings in an integrated and coordinated way. For example, within the schools they have assisted in revising wellness policy consistent with the messaging and consistent with the concept of each individual child having an understanding of their own weight and having a healthy weight plan. Also they ensure that other wellness policies in the school, such as quality of school lunches, are consistent with that message and framework.


Download a PDF of the full article