January 8, 2019
5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources
Reflecting on a Transformative Year and the Opportunities Ahead
A message from CLOCC Executive Director Adam Becker, PhD, MPH

As the New Year begins, I want to thank all of you who contributed to  making 2018 a productive and informative year in childhood obesity prevention. Looking back, I think it's safe to say that 2018 was a transformative year for CLOCC. At the end of 2017, as we celebrated the Consortium's 15th Anniversary, we set bicycle wheels in motion to expand our collective approach to include social determinants and root causes of childhood obesity. Issues such as income inequality, immigration and racial equity were prominent in the national consciousness, and CLOCC's formative steps to explore and address these issues as "upstream" contributors to the obesity epidemic appeared even timelier. While we continued core efforts to promote good nutrition and physical activity, to strengthen environments that support those behaviors, and advocate for related policies at all levels of government, 2018 was a year that energized CLOCC staff and partners to come together and collaborate across an even broader spectrum of issues that affect children's ability to eat healthy and be active where they live, learn, and play.

New data indicate that childhood obesity rates are continuing to rise, especially in the "severely obese" category, and that racial and ethnic disparities persist. Here in Chicago, 19.1% percent of kindergartners and 18.2% of high schoolers are considered obese. As we know all too well, these trends continue to demonstrate ethnic and racial disparities. The 2015-16 National Health and Nutrition Examination surveys identified the prevalence of overweight and all classes of obesity were highest in Hispanic and black children (46% and 38%, respectively). New Healthy Chicago 2.0 data from the Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) show that while few kids are consuming sugary beverages (despite a lack of political leadership to sustain a tax at the County level and to initiate one at the State level) fewer are also attaining at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Fruit and vegetable consumption for youth also remained stagnant at just 18% having five or more servings a day, below our citywide goal of 20% meeting the  5-4-3-2-1 Go! recommendation. A recent telephone survey of 3,310 adult Chicagoans conducted by CDPH and CLOCC's home institution, Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, found that 62% considered childhood obesity to be one of their biggest concerns for children's health, the second-highest ranked concern behind only drug abuse.

For 16 years our Consortium has worked to ensure that the best evidence-based strategies for obesity prevention are being implemented in childcare settings, schools, and neighborhoods across the city, but these recent data align with two ideas we articulated in 2018: that these strategies need to be better coordinated and co-located in communities facing obesity disparities, and that we must come together with experts in other disciplines to address the root causes of childhood obesity. Research continues to demonstrate how social and structural determinants such as racism, poverty, trauma, disinvestment in communities, a lack of affordable housing, and deteriorating neighborhood environments shape the health outcomes of our children. These issues are not just relevant for obesity and will require collaboration among those interested in other child health outcomes. That multi-sectoral work has already begun for CLOCC...
Join our Team! CLOCC Seeks Health Educator

The major responsibility of the Health Educator will be to provide training and education to CLOCC staff and partner organizations to promote our healthy lifestyle messaging (5-4-3-2-1 Go!┬« and fiveSMART┬«), to help initiate and maintain license agreements for message use, and to help advance a social determinants of health perspective among CLOCC partner organizations. 

Our two messages promote 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, 4 servings of water a day, 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day, 2 hours or less of screen time a day and 1 hour or more of physical activity a day (5-4-3-2-1 Go!) and help parents and caregivers to focus on sleep, meals, activity, responsiveness and role modeling, and key things to avoid during pregnancy and early childhood (fiveSMART). Key social determinants of interest include mental health, housing, transportation planning and infrastructure, and immigration. Others are also being explored. 

The Health Educator will be involved in various strategies to disseminate CLOCC's message and our social determinants of health approach across Chicago and throughout the CLOCC network. The Health Educator will be responsible for developing, revising, and delivering trainings to staff at various city agencies (including youth participants in those agencies), community-based organizations, and other groups and will work with CLOCC's leadership to ensure all messages and activities are consistent with evidence-based strategies. The Health Educator will track participation, message use, and financial expenditures related to trainings, oversee the work of volunteers and temporary student assistants, represent the program to community partners and other external organizations, collaborate with organizational partners, and assist with the development and implementation of project evaluation protocols.

  • The PeopleForBikes Community Grant Program provides funding for important and influential projects that leverage federal funding and build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. These projects include bike paths and rail trails, as well as mountain bike trails, bike parks, BMX facilities, and large-scale bicycle advocacy initiatives. PeopleForBikes accepts grant applications from non-profit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development, from city or county agencies or departments, and from state or federal agencies working locally. PeopleForBikes only funds projects in the United States. Grant guidelines are posted at http://peopleforbikes.org/grant-guidelines/.

    Online Letter of Interest due: January 18, 2019. 
    The on-line application process can be accessed at http://peopleforbikes.org/apply-now/
T he Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is a nationally recognized leader for community-based obesity prevention. We support, coordinate, and unite partners to promote healthy and active lifestyles for children and families. Our multi-sector approach emerged in Chicago and can be adapted for use anywhere.