Fall 2009 Newsletter
Focus: Reaching Children and Youth
The Washington State Nutrition and Physical Activity Plan's overarching goal is to build environments and establish policies that promote healthful living. Partners in Action showcases initiatives and resources that support the Plan's objectives and "make the healthy choice the easy choice" for Washington's residents. This issue features activities that are making it easier for children across the state to eat healthful foods and move more.

New & Notable

Reducing Childhood Obesity in Washington State

The Washington State Childhood Obesity Summit in October brought together more than one hundred policymakers child health advocates, and several inspiring youth leaders to share and promote coordinated strategies to reduce childhood obesity in the state. Seattle Children’s Hospital and the American Heart Association co-sponsored the summit and invited participants representing state and local government, health care, public health, schools, academia, nonprofits, and other sectors. The information-rich agenda provided an overview of the landscape of obesity prevention efforts at the national, state, and local levels. Senator Patty Murray set the stage by noting the importance of a health care reform bill that dedicated resources to community-based prevention. A keynote offered by Dr. Joseph Thompson, Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center to Prevent Childhood Obesity, and panel presentations throughout the day highlighted successes, gaps, and opportunities to improve the nutrition and physical activity environments that influence children through state and local policy initiatives. In closing the summit, participants were asked to draw on their experiences and information learned throughout the day to summarize needs and action steps that will be used to advance the ongoing work of the state’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition. For more information about the summit or the Childhood Obesity Prevention Coalition contact Victor Colman.

Inventory of Childhood Obesity Prevention Initiatives in Washington, 2004-2009 (PDF) - Compiled for the Summit

The Plan in Action: Featured Activities

ACHIEVE Healthy Menu Pilot in Peninsula District Schools

Tacoma-Pierce County’s ACHIEVE Team selected school nutrition as a priority area in order to empower children to make healthful food choices. To address some of the common concerns that surface when changing school menus, such as cost and catering to student preferences, the team will hire a consultant to design three weeks of menus to pilot in Peninsula District schools. The goal is to develop lunch menus that are consistent with national dietary guidelines on a daily basis, feasible for schools, and appealing to students. Nutritional information will be posted or made available on menus, menu boards, and the district’s web site. more

WIC Fruit and Vegetable Community Project

Washington State WIC was recently awarded a Special Projects grant from USDA for their application, titled “Building Community Collaboration to Increase WIC Clients’ Fruit and Vegetable Consumption.” This project will take advantage of opportunities provided by the new WIC fresh fruit and vegetable benefit to facilitate sustainable partnerships with local food systems groups and bring new resources and innovative ideas to WIC services. Local WIC agencies and their food systems partners will be invited to submit applications for funding for local collaborative projects. more

Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities: King County

King County was one of nine communities awarded a grant by Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities program. King County’s project led by the Housing Authority focuses on improving the policies and systems that support healthy eating and active living for children at four public housing sites. more

South Sound Breastfeeding Welcome Here Campaign

The Olympia Farmers' Market, South Puget Sound Community College, and a growing list of South Sound businesses and institutions are displaying the International Breastfeeding Symbol to alert moms to locations where they can breastfeed comfortably. These businesses are taking part in the Breastfeeding Welcome Here Campaign launched by the South Sound Breastfeeding Coalition last year. In addition to displaying the symbol, businesses are asked to adopt breastfeeding friendly practices and policies. more

Hospital Initiative Project: Breastfeeding Partnership in Yakima

The Breastfeeding Coalition of Washington is partnering with the Washington State Department of Health’s Nutrition and Physical Activity Program and Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital on a new pilot project that aims to evaluate and create awareness of current hospital policies and practices that influence breastfeeding. The information will then be used to support the hospital staff in working toward maternity care policy change to improve breastfeeding outcomes. more

Unplugged & Media Savvy: Reducing the Impact of Screen Time

Fourth and fifth grade students and their families in five schools in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho participated in testing interventions designed to reduce screen time and minimize the impact of media advertising of unhealthy foods to children. Five intervention components were developed to reach students, families and the wider school community: a media literacy curriculum, going “screen-free” for a month, family kits, school-wide events, and school marketing and screen use policies. more

Fit Fun in the Summer Sun

With funding from a Public Health Improvement Partnership Grant, Whitman County Public Health supported 9 weeks of swimming for child care centers that offered summer programming for school age children. Participating centers were also required to provide 20 hours of nutrition/health lessons and physical activity opportunities. Many centers offered the Coordinated Approach to Child Health’s (CATCH) Kid’s Club lessons. As a result of the program and related trainings, several centers improved the nutritional quality of menu offerings and plan to continue incorporating physical activity into lesson plans. more

Making it Easier for Island County Youth to Eat Well and Be Active

The Healthy Island Youth Initiative (HIYI) is an ongoing project of Island County Public Health that uses community-based policy and environmental approaches to encourage physical activity and healthy eating opportunities for the county’s children and youth. One of the initiative’s current aims is to make it easier for children to eat well and be active in child care. Last spring, HIYI held workshops for childcare providers entitled "A Recipe for Success: Food, Fitness, and Fun" to demonstrate how child care providers could develop and improve nutrition policies and utilize resources on physical activity and screen time, such as the Washington Active Bodies Active Minds toolkit. more

Mark Your Calendar

Livable Communities Webinar Series - "Getting There Together: Supporting Accessible Sustainable Transportation in Your Community"
12/9/09, 11:00am PST

NSBA Webinar: "School Wellness Policy Leadership: Improving healthy eating from state policy to school practices"
12/9/09, 12:00pm PST

Let's End the Childhood Obesity Epidemic Webinar Series:
"Part II: Intervening Early: Childcare as Untapped Setting for Preventing Childhood Obesity"
Thursday, 12/10/09, 9:00am PST

Partners for Smart Growth National Conference: Building Safe, Healthy and Livable Communities
2/4/10 - 2/6/10 – Seattle

WA Healthy Schools Summit: Engaging Youth in Creating Healthy Schools
5/27/10 - 5/28/10 – Seattle

more about these events...


Funding Opportunities

Champions for Healthy Kids Deadline: 1/15/10

Grants Available to WA Schools to Implement Fuel Up To Play 60
Deadline: 1/29/10

Bikes Belong Grant Program Deadline: Quarterly - due date for next grant cycle 2/26/10

Health Impact Project: Advancing Smarter Policies for Healthier Communities Application Deadline: Open

more about these opportunities...


Featured Resources

Research Review: School-based Health Interventions and Academic Achievement
WA DOH, OSPI,Board of Health - Sep 2009

Issues Briefs: Child Care & Obesity Prevention: Why Child Care Matters, Best Practices, and What Policymakers Can Do
UW Center for Public Health Nutrition - Jun 2009

Local Government Actions to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Institute of Medicine - Sep 2009

Action Strategies Toolkit: A Guide for Local and State Leaders Working to Create Healthy Communities and Prevent Childhood Obesity
Leadership for Healthy Communities - May 2009

Looking for Tools & Resources that were developed for you?WashingtonLook for the Washington icon to find resources that were developed and tested in Washington or that feature Washington state examples.


About the Newsletter

Partners in Action is a quarterly
e-newsletter that features information, activities, and resources related to the Washington State Nutrition & Physical Activity Plan.
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Are there activities or resources that you would like to see featured in Partners in Action? Please email Shannon Kirkpatrick.