October 1, 2019
New! fiveSMART Training Set for Friday, October 18th
Obesity Prevention for Prenatal and Early Childhood Years; RSVP Today

Research shows that a need for promoting healthy weight starts at life's earliest stages. Join the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) on Friday, October 18th, for a detailed training on fiveSMART┬« , our health message for prenatal and early-childhood (0-3yr) obesity prevention.

fiveSMART is designed as a companion message for  5-4-3-2-1 Go!┬«,  based on research that supports recommendations for Sleep, Meals & Snacks, Activity, Role Modeling & Responsiveness, and Things to Avoid. Messaging is tailored for prenatal care, ages 0-12 months and ages 1-3 years.   

This  fiveSMART training opportunity will be relevant and useful for day care providers, pediatricians, OB physicians, family practitioners, home visitors and anyone who works with pregnant women or children aged 0-3.  

There is no cost to attend the training. This meeting has limited capacity, so please RSVP early.  

Date: Friday, October 18, 2019
Time: 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Location: The Metro YMCA, 7th Floor, 1030 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL 60607

Please note: Metered street parking is available. The YMCA of Metro Chicago is located near the UIC-Halsted and Racine stations on the CTA Blue Line. 

5-4-3-2-1 Go! Resources
fiveSMART Resources
Welcome Erin Fisher, CLOCC's New Community & School Programs Manager

The Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children (CLOCC) is excited to introduce Erin Fisher, MS, as the Consortium's new Community and School Programs Manager. In this role, Erin will develop strategies that guide CLOCC's community work, and will identify opportunities to welcome new partners to the childhood obesity prevention table. She also will help lead the Consortium's efforts to build a more comprehensive childhood obesity prevention approach that addresses the myriad social determinants of obesity in Chicago. 

A native of Michigan, Erin joins the CLOCC team after serving as a Public Health Educator for the City of Evanston Department of Health and Human Services. In that position, she developed, managed, and evaluated City health programs in the areas of youth and adult obesity prevention, tobacco cessation, chronic disease prevention and management, and cancer screening and awareness. She also coordinated the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan, and developed components of a wellness program for City of Evanston employees. Previously, Erin worked as the Assistant Coordinator of Nutrition Services with the Lake County Health Department and Community Health Center. In that role, she developed and monitored departmental goals to ensure consistency with organizational strategic priorities, provided training and mentoring for community partners and internal employees on a variety of health-related topics, led program evaluation including Continuous Quality Improvement activities, and established collaborative partnerships between the health department and the community to achieve mutual goals and objectives.

Please join us in welcoming Erin to the CLOCC family. She can be reached at efisher@luriechildrens.org.              
Chicago Adults Identify the Top 10 Health Problems Facing Chicago Youth: 2018-2019 

Chicago adults identified stress, drug abuse, depression and childhood obesity as the top four big health problems for children and adolescents in the city, according to results from a new survey developed by Ann  Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and the  Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH).  Similar to last year, many of the top 10 concerns were related to mental health.

"By asking adults across all of Chicago about the health problems they see for youth, we hope to focus attention on the health needs of children and adolescents in our city," says  Matthew M. Davis, MD, MAPP, Interim Chair of Pediatrics and Chief of Community Health Transformation at Lurie Children's, and Professor of Pediatrics, Medicine, Medical Social Sciences, and Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "This year, Chicago adults are very concerned about mental health issues for youth, with stress and drug abuse rated most often as big problems."

The top 10 health problems for youth rated by Chicago adults (with proportions of adults rating each as a "big problem") include:

  • Stress Among Children and Teens - 61 percent
  • Drug Abuse - 61 percent
  • Depression Among Children and Teens - 59 percent
  • Childhood Obesity - 58 percent
  • Smoking and Tobacco - 57 percent
  • Child Abuse and Neglect - 56 percent
  • Suicide Among Children and Teens - 49 percent
  • Alcohol Abuse - 49 percent
  • Parents' Health Problems Affecting Children's Health - 47 percent
  • Teen Pregnancy - 44 percent
Parents with at least one child under 18 years old at home tended to be more concerned about several of the health issues for youth than were adults without children in the household. This difference was greatest for teen pregnancy: 51 percent of parents said teen pregnancy was a big health problem, while 42 percent of adults without children in the household said it was a big health problem for youth.

"These latest survey results help us better understand concerns among the public and shifts in their concerns about youth health over the last two years," says CDPH Commissioner Allison Arwady, MD, MPH. "Chicago's young people have made gains in many areas, and we want to work with Lurie Children's and with the public to address children's health needs."

One youth health issue that adults were more concerned about this year than last year was smoking and tobacco, including e-cigarettes. In the 2017-18 survey, 53 percent of adults considered this a big problem, whereas 57 percent considered it a big problem for Chicago's youth in 2018-19. One reason for this may be growing concern about e-cigarettes or vaping, which has been shown to increase young people's risk of subsequent cigarette smoking and has also recently been linked to cases of severe lung disease and death.

Survey results are based on the second wave of data collected through the Healthy Chicago Survey, Jr. (2018-19), that was developed by Dr. Davis in collaboration with the CDPH Office of Epidemiology and Research. Phone interviews were conducted with 2,982 adults, including 740 parents, December 2018 through May 2019. Households across Chicago were randomly selected, with participants in all 77 community areas.

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 info@clocc.net
  • Closing SoonPolicies for Action is issuing a special call for proposals to advance health equity by actively seeking new and diverse perspectives from the policy research field. This opportunity will support early-career researchers from underrepresented and historically disadvantaged backgrounds to help us understand and find solutions that promote health equity and foster action on policies and laws that ensure all people in America can attain and preserve good health and well-being. The deadline to apply is 3:00 p.m. (ET) on October 2nd.
  • Each year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) supports communities across our state through its grants and sponsorships. Community Investments at BCBSIL are divided into two areas: grants and sponsorships. In Illinois, grants are awarded to direct service health and human service organizations with 501(c)(3) status. Funding is distributed through two separate funding streams: Healthy Kids, Healthy Families Grants and Community Partners Grants. Grants are for 1 year only. Organizations may apply through either funding stream (but not both). Funding is competitive, so organizations should assess alignment with each streams' funding priorities. The LOI window will open on January 21. 
  • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health (OMH) and the Office on Women's Health (OWH) jointly announce the YES Initiative in collaboration with the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) and in consultation with the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and the Office of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness, and Nutrition (PCSFN). The YES Initiative seeks to identify characteristics of effective collaborations that improve physical activity and nutrition via increased sports participation. YES Initiative applicants should propose to address unhealthy physical activity and nutrition behaviors among racial/ethnic minority and socio-economically disadvantaged youth (including, specifically girls), and provide opportunities to learn skills and gain experiences that contribute to more positive lifestyles and enhance their capacity to make healthier life choices.  Applicants should have capacity to develop and implement sports fitness programs based on successful evidenced-based strategies for youth engagement.  The application due date is May 31, 2019.
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.