Plan Outlines Roadmap for Reducing Childhood Obesity in San Diego County

The San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, a public-private partnership, released its updated Call to Action: Childhood Obesity Action Plan September 4 outlining strategies for the region to reduce childhood obesity. The plan’s release coincides with National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month.

“We have come a long way over the last nine years in raising awareness and making inroads toward reversing this devastating trend,” said County Supervisor Ron Roberts. “With today’s release of this best practices’ blue print, our public and private sector partners will have updated tools to deliver even better results in future years.”

In the U.S., childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, the collective efforts of COI partners are moving the needle on reducing and preventing childhood obesity in San Diego County: prevalence of childhood overweight/obesity fell from 35.8 percent in 2005 to 34.5 percent in 2010, a 3.7 percent reduction. This drop was higher than the rates of reduction in all other Southern California counties and also higher than the statewide rate of reduction of 1.1 percent.

The obesity epidemic is a complicated public health issue with multiple causes. No single individual, agency, or business can solve this problem alone. Collaboration, teamwork, and resource sharing are required at every level to bring about change.

“The recommended strategies presented in the Action Plan were developed with the input and support of over one hundred partners of the Childhood Obesity Initiative from both public and private sectors,” said Cheryl Moder, Vice President of Collective Impact at Community Health Improvement Partners, a San Diego non-profit that facilitates the Initiative. “This document provides a roadmap for obesity prevention efforts in San Diego County and has also been used as a resource by other communities throughout the U.S.,” Moder added.

Organizations and individuals working in the areas of government, healthcare, schools and after-school, early childhood, community, media, and business are encouraged to implement the strategies recommended in the action plan to promote better health.

Now in its ninth year, the Childhood Obesity Initiative’s mission is to reduce and prevent childhood obesity through policy, systems, and environmental change. Working together with partners from multiple sectors, the Initiative is at the forefront of implementing innovative policies and practices and achieving collective impact to curb childhood obesity. Core funding for the initiative is provided by the County of San Diego, First 5 San Diego, and Kaiser Permanente. The goals of the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative align with Live Well San Diego, the County vision for healthy, safe, and thriving communities.

“The County of San Diego wholeheartedly endorses the Childhood Obesity Action Plan,” said Supervisor Roberts. “This is our regional guide to promote strategic policy, systems and environmental changes that support health in our communities. I urge everyone to join the cause.”

For more information about the San Diego County Childhood Obesity Initiative, visit or contact Cheryl Moder at (858-609-7961) or

Click here to view the Action Plan.

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