Children’s Bureau of Southern California Awarded Nearly $1 Million to Address High Obesity Rates in Los Angeles, University Park, Jefferson Park, and West Adams

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Children’s Bureau awarded $880,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture to support the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income populations.

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By investing in our communities and the people that we serve, we are hopeful that we can make impactful, long-lasting changes for better health outcomes," said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer of Los Angeles County.

Children’s Bureau was awarded $880,000 from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with funding from the California Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Agriculture. The grant will support the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative, which aims to reduce the prevalence of obesity among low-income Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education eligible populations by providing nutrition education, physical activity promotion, and working to create healthier environments for low-income individuals and families where they live, learn, work, play, pray, and shop.

Key efforts under the initiative include teaching fundamental skills such as cooking, reading food labels, shopping on a budget, growing fruits and vegetables, and introducing low-cost and fun ways to be physically active. In addition, champions in communities throughout the County will be identified to help improve access to healthier foods and increase opportunities to be physically active in a variety of settings, including early childcare centers, schools, faith-based organizations, corner stores, parks, worksites, and cities.    

“Children’s Bureau is pleased to be a part of this County-wide initiative, as we are uniquely positioned to reach children and families in University Park, Jefferson Park, and West Adams,” explained Giovanna A. Lipow, Project Coordinator at Children’s Bureau. “We are working toward making notable changes in grocery stores to make healthier foods more affordable and available as well as identify ways to integrate physical activity into the day to improve the overall health for families in our service area.”

According to the LA County: A Cities and Communities Health Report, obesity-related chronic illnesses continue to rank among the top ten leading causes of premature death, including heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. While the obesity epidemic continues to impact virtually all population groups, about 29.0% of children in grades 5, 7, and 9 and 32.7% of adults in are obese. For Latinos the situation is much worse with 31.6% of obesity rates for Latinos in Los Angeles County.

“Reducing obesity is a priority of Public Health and a key objective of the Champions for Change - Healthy Communities Initiative,” said Jeffrey Gunzenhauser, Interim Health Officer of Los Angeles County. “By investing in our communities and the people that we serve, we are hopeful that we can make impactful, long-lasting changes for better health outcomes.”

ABOUT CHILDREN’S BUREAU
Since 1904, Children's Bureau (http://www.all4kids.org) has been a nonprofit leader in the prevention and treatment of child abuse and neglect. More than 30,000 children and families are helped each year throughout Southern California with services that include school readiness, parenting classes, family resource centers, support groups, mental health counseling, foster care and adoption. Children’s Bureau is one of the largest investors in child abuse prevention in the country and is developing a national model to transform an entire at-risk community through its Magnolia Community Initiative.

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Giovanna Lipow
Children's Bureau
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Kaya I Okuniewski
Children's Bureau
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