Institute for Family Health Receives Federal Funding to Prevent and Reduce Childhood Obesity in the Bronx
New York, NY (September 28, 2017) — The Institute for Family Health was awarded $350,000 per year for three years by the Office of Minority Health (OMH) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement Healthy Families, Healthy Children in 22 Bronx churches.
The Institute, along with 15 other organizations nationwide, received awards through the OMH Empowered Communities for a Healthier Nation Initiative (Empowered Communities Initiative), which was created to help minority and disadvantaged populations in communities disproportionately affected by the opioid epidemic, childhood obesity and serious mental illness.
The Institute for Family Health’s Bronx Health REACH program will utilize the funding to help prevent and reduce obesity among children and adolescents in African American and Latino churches in the Bronx. The new program will build on Bronx Health REACH’s successful and popular faith-based, evidence-based program for adults known as Fine, Fit and Fabulous, which teaches nutrition and fitness within a spiritual context, using group discussion, exercise and peer support in goal setting and achievement.
Roughly 40% of the children ages 5-14 in the Bronx are considered to be either overweight or obese. Healthy Families, Healthy Children, will engage children (ages 8 – 12) and their families in a 12-week workshop consisting of weekly sessions that provide opportunities for fun physical activity and increased nutrition knowledge. The program will include hands-on experiences such as cooking demonstrations and tours of grocery stores and farmers markets.
“Bronx Health REACH has a 17 year history of working to eliminate disparities in health outcome in the Bronx. This new project is a perfect enhancement of our existing efforts to engage young people and families in improving their health by increasing their understanding of healthy eating and the importance of incorporating more physical activity into their daily lives,” said Charmaine Ruddock, project director for Bronx Health REACH.
Neil Calman, MD, president and CEO of the Institute for Family Health added, “The Institute is committed to implementing these kinds of community-based programs that will improve the population’s health. In the doctor’s office, we can only advise people what they should do. These programs teach people how to do it. If we are to truly address disparities in health outcome, all health care institutions need to find ways to focus on the health of the communities they serve, not just individual patients.”