That is why we are releasing a new annual report, State of Childhood Obesity: Helping All Children Grow Up Healthy, that includes the best available data on national and state childhood obesity rates and, importantly, recommends policies to improve children’s health.
While we have seen backsliding at the federal level, we have seen glimmers of hope at the state and local levels. In Columbus, Ohio, for instance, the local WIC program hosts a farmers’ market right outside the Columbus Department of Public Health, where anyone can buy affordable fruits and vegetables. And the local Water First for Thirst campaign is working to improve access to drinking water, so it is the drink of choice at markets, outdoor events, and child care centers.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is committed to reducing the rates of childhood obesity across the nation. We know it won’t be easy, or quick. We know it will require policy changes at every level of government, and we’re working alongside others to implement shifts that will make it easier for kids and their families to be healthy. We’re also working to address the broader community conditions—like housing, employment at a living wage, transportation, community financing, and clean air and water—that will help to ensure that everyone in America has a fair and just opportunity to live as healthy as possible.
As you read this report and explore the website, I encourage you to think about what policies you can help to improve, and how you can collaborate with others to do it. By working together, we can build a nation that supports, sustains, and secures the well-being of all our children and their families.