May 28, 2019
Attendees at CLOCC's December, 2018, meeting draft policy suggestions for Chicago's new mayor and other legislative leaders
5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources
Read CLOCC's Letter to Lori Lightfoot as the New Mayor Takes Office

As incoming Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot was being officially sworn in on Monday, May 20, 2019, the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) moved quickly to provide her administration with an overview of the City's childhood obesity crisis. The Consortium also submitted a set of specific, actionable steps generated at CLOCC's  December, 2018, meeting at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital, where attendees focused on legislative policy with the potential to  improve social and structural determinants of obesity. 
The letter reads, in part, "Addressing the many factors that contribute to high rates of obesity in our city should be an important part of a portfolio of strategies designed to address health equity, ensure quality of life for all Chicagoans, and reduce the economic burden of health care in our city."  

Mayor Lightfoot has already made several announcements with the potential for positive impact on health equity in Chicago. On Wednesday, May 15th, Candace Moore was introduced as the City's first-ever Chief Equity Officer. On Monday, May 20th, in her first official act as Mayor, Lightfoot signed an executive order to reel in aldermanic prerogative, ending an informal but longstanding tradition of Chicago's aldermanic offices having final "veto" over a wide array of concerns in their ward, from construction and zoning to neighborhood events and activities. Inconsistent implementation of city-wide projects in the past has created disparities in infrastructure that supports health, such as bike lanes and development that prioritizes active transit.

In her inaugural remarks, Mayor Lightfoot referenced the need to protect children from gun violence, to improve their educational opportunities and to reduce family poverty. Her address assigned new meanings to the four stars on the Chicago flag: Safety, Education, Stability and Integrity. "No matter who you are, no matter where you live, no matter your circumstance in life, Chicago is now on a mission to include you, to join hands with you, to share power with you, and to give you reason to believe that we can all pull in the same direction to make Chicago, better, together," said the Mayor.    

New! Community Food Access Manager

CLOCC is seeking a staff member to lead the development and implementation of community-focused food access and food insecurity strategies and manage interventions to address these critical areas of health promotion and disease prevention. 

Strategies and interventions will focus on improving food access for Lurie Children's Hospital patients and families and for residents in Chicago communities. Housed within Lurie Children's and CLOCC, this position is responsible for a broad range of programs and partnerships focused on all aspects of the food system. Initial aspects of this work will also include the development and management of strategies focused on Chicago's west side, in conjunction with West Side United, a collaboration of hospitals and community-based organizations focused on reducing the life expectancy gap on the west side.

Goals and objectives for improving food access will be achieved through collaboration with Lurie Children's Hospital clinical divisions and programs focused on food insecurity, with West Side United staff and partners, and with CLOCC community partners focused on improving food access. In managing these programs and strategies, the Program Manager will track progress on deliverables and financial expenditures related to these projects, oversee the work of staff, volunteers, and temporary student assistants, represent Lurie Children's, CLOCC, and West Side United to community partners and other external organizations, and assist with the development of funding proposals and stewardship reports.
Community and School Programs Manager

CLOCC is seeking a manager to lead the d evelopment and implementation of community- and school-based obesity prevention strategies and manage community-based interventions. 

Strategies and interventions will focus on improving food access and environmental conditions to support healthy eating and physical activity in Chicago institutions and communities. This will be achieved through the management and oversight of CLOCC's team of Community Program Coordinators, effective interaction with the rest of CLOCC's staff, and coordination with partner organizations. 

In managing these aspects of the CLOCC program, the Program Manager will track progress on deliverables and financial expenditures related to these projects, oversee the work of volunteers and temporary student assistants, represent the program to community partners and other external organizations, collaborate on partner projects, and assist with the development of project proposals and stewardship reports.     
Updates on social, structural and other root causes of obesity
CLOCC continues to expand our focus "upstream" to identify the fundamental root causes of obesity, and to broaden the scope of our obesity prevention strategies. This work coincides with heightened local and national attention to health equity and social determinants of health, such as immigration, education, poverty and racism, all of which have an impact on people's ability to eat healthy and be active where they live, work, learn, and play. If you have comments or questions about this focus, we invite you to reach out to
Census Concerns Remain on Front Burner for 2020   

The intensely debated "citizenship question" remains at the center of a stormy approach to the 2020 Census, with the U.S. Supreme Court expected to issue a ruling in the coming days. 

In a recent development reported by  NPR, John Abowd, U.S. Census Bureau Chief Scientist, advised that even if the citizenship question is not included on the census, the Bureau is likely to report on some form of citizenship data as part of the Census. "There is a source for citizenship data whether the question is asked or not, and there is an instruction to produce block-level, citizen voting age population that has not been rescinded," said Abowd, referring to government records compiled on request of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilber Ross. "So the logical conclusion, and the conclusion we have taken to date, is that we're under instruction to produce those data and we intend to do so in the manner the secretary's memo instructed, which is by April 1 of 2021."       

The legality of the citizenship question itself remains in flux and, as of late April, the Supreme Court appeared likely to approve overrule lower court rulings in multiple states and allow the question. The Trump Administration has oft cited that a citizenship question has a historical precedent, but the assertion is complex

The citizenship question is just one of the concerns among those concerned with an accurate count of the country's minority and underserved populations. The move to a web-based census will potentially exclude those without access to technology.      

"The census is at the greatest risk... it has ever been in our lifetime," Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, told NBC News. ""We have the Census Bureau continually telling us everything is on track. This is a wake-up call. No. Everything is not fine. The Census Bureau needs to be proceeding, understanding the real problems it is facing and can't be sugarcoating what is happening throughout the country."

The next Census Day is April 1, 2020, and stakes include the distribution of Congressional seats and the disbursement of over $700B to government-funded programs. In Illinois, declining population (or census undercount) could result in two fewer seats in the House of Representatives. The government also relies upon Census data to determine where  programmatic funding is allocated, and an accurate count of underserved and at-risk populations is imperative to securing support for the health, nutrition and other services that sustain vulnerable children and families.  

Don't Undermine the 2020 Census  - Bloomberg (Opinion)

New Report:  Implementing Strategies to Enhance Public Health Surveillance of Physical Activity in the United States

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine - with support from the Department of Health and Human Services - convened a committee to develop strategies to support the implementation of recommended actions to improve national physical activity surveillance. The resulting report, Implementing Strategies to Enhance Public Health Surveillance of Physical Activity in the United States, outlines the committee's 22 strategies and supporting actions for implementation.

From the report:

Despite the far-reaching benefits of physical activity, most Americans do not meet the current public health guidelines. 

At the population level, physical activity is challenging to assess because it is a complex, multidimensional behavior that varies by type, intensity, setting, motives, and environmental and social influences. Surveillance of physical activity is a core public health function necessary to measure and analyze the prevalence of physical activity at a population level. 

To support public health, there is a need to develop and implement surveillance systems that effectively integrate measurement of specific physical activity behaviors (like walking) with assessment of environmental factors that influence physical activity behavior (such as the walkability of communities
Potential Role of Nutrition in the First 2 Years of Life in Prevention of Child Overweight & Obesity
Webinar, Thursday, July 18, 2019  

The Roundtable on Obesity Solutions is hosting a 75-minute webinar that will explore the role of infant and early childhood nutrition (birth to <2 years of age) related to healthy growth and the prevention of overweight and obesity later in childhood. Presentations will feature the current prevalence and trends of high weight-for-length in infants and young children, the state of the science on nutrition-related modifiable risk factors, and obesity prevention interventions that address healthy growth, with a special emphasis on reducing disparities in populations with above-average obesity risk.

When: July 18, 2019, 11:00 a.m. CT

Guest speakers: 
  • Kathryn Dewey, University of California, Davis
  • Cynthia Ogden, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Bill Dietz, The George Washington University
  • Elsie Taveras, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Free Evaluation Training Opportunity
Monday, June 10, 2019

The Smith Child Health Research, Advocacy and Outreach Evaluation Core, based at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, will host a free training: "Using Focus Groups in Evaluations." This session will be appropriate for those unfamiliar with the conduct of focus groups or those who want to brush up on their focus group techniques.

Using Focus Groups in Evaluations
When: June 10th, 2019, 9:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Where: Lurie Children's Hospital, 225 E. Chicago Avenue, 11th floor, room 11-152

The session will cover:
  • How to tell if a focus group is right for your context
  • Basic focus group techniques
    • Focus group guide development
    • Facilitation techniques
    • Analytic approaches
Reservations are required. 

Please contact Darice Kneeland ( by May 29th to reserve your spot.  Space is limited.  This session is made possible through the generous donation of an anonymous donor.
Active Transportation Alliance to Host Pre-Summer Ambassador Training
Thursday, May 30, 2019

The Active Transportation Alliance has issued an invitation to participate in Active Trans Ambassador Training for those who wish to spread the message about transportation advocacy and the importance of walking, biking, and transit to residents throughout the region. 

By the end of the training, participants will be well-versed in the mission of Active Trans and its advocacy campaigns. You will develop the confidence and skills to build the active transportation movement in your community through meetings with your local elected officials and outreach at local events.

Those who go through the training will be given a special, limited edition Active Trans Ambassador t-shirt.

Ambassador Training
When: Thursday, May 30, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Where: Active Transportation Alliance, 35 E. Wacker Dr., Suite 1782

Space for this training is limited to the first 35 registrants.

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.