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Anchorage AK 99503
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Obesity Prevention - Program Goals: What it takes to reduce obesity

There is no single strategy that will reduce obesity and its associated health and economic consequences. Meaningful reduction of obesity prevalence will only occur when a set of sustained, comprehensive prevention strategies are implemented by schools, the health care sector, private industry, NGOs, governmental agencies, and individual families.

These strategies will need to address policy issues; alter the environment in which we live, play and eat; modify the systems to make the healthy choice the easy choice; and increase the knowledge and change the behaviors of families, children and individuals. If it takes a village to raise a child, it will take the efforts of the entire state to reverse obesity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends establishing a comprehensive obesity prevention initiative using evidence-based strategies to reverse the annual 1% rise in adult obesity and overweight prevalence. To design a comprehensive program in Alaska, the Obesity Prevention and Control Program (herein referred to as program) consulted the Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids.

The components of this initiative are identified by the CDC as recommended strategies to prevent and reduce obesity:

Support Schools and Local Community Initiatives
  • Support school districts to develop and sustain school wellness teams focused on improving the school nutrition and physical activity environment.
  • Support efforts to improve the community nutrition environment.
  • Coordinate and support the Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids which is an alliance of health and education experts committed to preventing childhood obesity. 

Educate the Public and Promote Physical Activity 

  • Use proven health communications and social marketing approaches to encourage and assist Alaskans to make personal behavior choices for a healthy, active life.
  • Support a school-based a physical activity challenge in partnership with Healthy Futures.

Support School Staff, Teachers, and Early Childhood Educators

  • Provide training to professionals who work with Alaska’s children to learn the most recent evidence-based strategies to prevent and reduce obesity.

Evaluate Program and Grantee Efforts

  • Maintain systematic collection, analysis, evaluation and reporting of obesity prevalence and related physical activity and nutrition behaviors.

Provide Administration and Management

  • Provide sufficient capacity within the health department to enable the program to plan strategic efforts, provide strong leadership, provide good fiscal management and accountability of community grants, and foster collaboration among the state and community coalitions in a way that reduces duplication of effort among partners.