Health and Family Services Cabinet
GHK Awarded $100,000 Grant to Fight Childhood Obesity
Kentucky One of 10 States to Receive Funding from NGA
Governor Ernie Fletcher’s statewide wellness initiative, Get Healthy Kentucky (GHK), is one of only 10 recipients nationally to receive grant funding to help battle childhood obesity.
GHK will receive $100,000 from the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices for the development of strategies and laws, and the analysis of existing programs.
“This grant funding will help us accomplish one of the key missions of Get Healthy Kentucky – ensuring the continued health of our children. Once again, Kentucky is leading the nation in health care initiatives, particularly in the vitally important area of prevention, to ensure the brightest possible future for our commonwealth’s citizens,” said Governor Fletcher. “We are extremely grateful to the NGA for helping us reach our goals. We are determined to learn more about the causes of childhood obesity and how to better prevent it.”
Programs in Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia also received grants to improve the health and well-being of children.
The funding will support the development of state strategies to prevent childhood obesity by instituting social changes, leading public-sector policy initiatives and influencing private-sector efforts. In addition, states will be able to conduct a statewide analysis of existing efforts related to obesity prevention.
“With this funding, we’ll be able to broaden the work of GHK,” said Chris L. Corbin, executive director of the Governor’s Office on Wellness and Physical Activity. “We are focused on preventing the causes of chronic disease and reducing obesity rates, particularly among children. This work is key to reducing the number of people in our state who go on to experience illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.”
Throughout the nation, the health of America’s children is at serious risk because of poor nutrition and lack of physical activity. During the past four decades, obesity rates have soared among all age groups, more than quadrupling among children age 6 to 11. For children born in the United States in 2000, the risk of being diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at some point in their lives is estimated to be more than 30 percent for boys and nearly 40 percent for girls. The risk is even higher among African-American and Latino populations.
The grants are being awarded as part of the NGA Center’s Healthy Kids, Healthy America program, which seeks to:
· Motivate and guide action by governors and senior state leaders to increase physical activity, improve nutrition and prevent obesity among America’s children.
· Help create a state vision or policy action plan for advancing or accelerating childhood obesity prevention initiatives in the state.
· Encourage state leadership by engaging the private sector to promote policy and social change in schools and/or community settings, with the ultimate goal of improving children’s health.
Funding for these grants was made possible through support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Get Healthy Kentucky is a statewide wellness initiative that incorporates physical activity, nutrition and tobacco cessation and prevention components. GHK has created an opportunity for individuals and groups to have a one-stop, central location for information and resources that will improve the quality of life for Kentuckians and help prevent chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease.
GHK is designed for residents of all ages and includes access to reliable, unbiased information on the GHK Web site, www.gethealthy.ky.gov. The site provides information about the Governor’s Challenge program, an incentive-based fitness program designed to help participants set personal fitness goals and track progress online.
To learn more about governors’ efforts to improve the health and livelihood of America’s youth, visit www.nga.org/center/healthyamerica.