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YMCA of the USA Announces 16 Communities Selected for Statewide Policy Change Initiative to Reverse the Childhood Obesity Epidemic
Date:8/5/2009

ation of a community action plan. The funding from RWJF will allow Y-USA to continue to spread its learning and experience in community-level efforts, and help develop these efforts into statewide models for six states with some of the highest childhood obesity rates in the country.

"Through Pioneering Healthier Communities, the YMCA is joining with community partners and local and state governments to reverse alarming trends in the nation's health," said Neil Nicoll, president and chief executive officer, YMCA of the USA. "PHC is helping communities to make healthy behaviors an easier choice, not just the healthier choice. These opportunities for physical activity and healthy eating are laying a foundation to help reduce the risk of chronic diseases that have taken such a serious toll on individuals throughout our communities."

"The actions of these sixteen communities will be important towards helping children and their families lead healthier lives," said James Marks, M.D., M.P.H., senior vice president and director, Health Group, at RWJF. "We're excited to support the YMCA as it expands its community-level leadership into statewide action. As a nation we need this kind of effort everywhere."

The effective transition of the local PHC model into statewide policy impact will require the coordination and cooperation of many agencies and groups. YMCA State Alliances will engage a team of state policy makers and leaders to examine existing policies and practices regarding childhood obesity, and to propose a state action plan to respond to the public health challenges of obesity, physical inactivity and poor nutrition. The statewide stakeholder team will work in partnership with the 16 community leadership teams to ensure that each community action plan supports statewide efforts. The 16 teams will focus on collaborative engagement with community leaders, how environments influence health and well-being,
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SOURCE YMCA of the USA
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