Obesity Prevention Initiatives

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Obesity Prevention & CareBreastfeedingNews | Advocacy

About Obesity Prevention

During the past 30 years, the prevalence of overweight/obesity among children and youth in Illinois and the US has dramatically increased. Illinois is ranked 4th in the nation for obesity among children.

Rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes are at epidemic proportions and are being diagnosed in growing numbers in pediatric patients: 31.6% of children residing in United States (10-17 years) are considered overweight or obese, and 34.9% of children residing in Illinois (10-17 years) are considered overweight or obese (Statehealthfacts, 2007). Additionally, 22% of 3-7 year old children residing in Chicago are obese (CLOCC, 2008), and 40% of children residing in Cook County, Illinois are considered obese or overweight (CDC)

The cumulative evidence demonstrates that much of the morbidity and mortality associated with these conditions may be preventable through a combination of factors including access to healthy foods, opportunities for physical activity, support for dietary and lifestyle modifications, and exclusive breastfeeding in early life.

Obesity Prevention Initiatives Projects

ICAAP’s obesity prevention initiatives aim to lower childhood obesity rates through its core projects that support pediatric practices and medical providers to provide the best quality of care through continuing medical education, quality improvement activities, linkages to community resources, and coordinated systems of care.

Obesity Prevention & Care: Promoting Health

ICAAP’s Obesity Prevention Project addresses obesity prevention and treatment in three major areas: Coverage and Reimbursement, Maintenance of Certification and Physician Education, and Community Programs and Coalitions.

 Breastfeeding & Baby Friendly Hospitals

ICAAP’s Breastfeeding projects work towards lowering obesity rates by increasing breastfeeding rates and duration through policy, systems, and environmental change.


For further information about ICAAP’s Obesity Prevention Initiatives please contact:

Mary Elsner, JD
Director, Obesity Prevention Projects
1400 W. Hubbard, Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60607
Phone: 312/733-1026, ext 220
Fax: 312/733-1791

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In 2009, ICAAP initiated Promoting Health: Strengthening Practices & Links to Community Resources.

The project was developed from the 2007 ICAAP study of Illinois pediatricians and a self-identified need by pediatric primary care clinicians for nutrition and patient counseling education.

The project is funded by the Otho S.A. Sprague Memorial Institute.