The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) today announced an ambitious collaboration to reverse the nation’s childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. Building upon AHA’s extensive advocacy capacity and experience, RWJF will provide the Association with $8 million in initial funding to create and manage an advocacy initiative focused on changing local, state, and federal policies to help children and adolescents eat healthier foods and be more active.
More than 23.5 million children and adolescents in the United States—nearly one in three young people—are overweight or obese. Obesity puts children at risk for a number of serious health problems, including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and some forms of cancer. Some research indicates that, because of obesity, the current generation of young people could be the first in the nation’s history to live sicker and die younger than their parents’ generation.
RWJF is the nation’s largest philanthropy dedicated solely to improving health and health care. AHA is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting cardiovascular disease.