Obesity Prevention Programs and Activities

The Department of Health works with many partners and contractors to develop and implement a range of obesity prevention programs in community, child care, school and heath care settings.

Community Sector

Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities (CBFC)

CBFC provides funding to six contractors to establish breastfeeding friendly coordinated community support networks for families from pregnancy through infancy to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration. The funded entities advance broad-based policy, system and environmental changes that protect and promote breastfeeding within community settings and businesses.

More about CBFC

Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP)

HPNAP provides funding to 47 contractors and their 2,400 emergency food programs to provide nutritious food to supplement meals to those in need throughout New York State. HPNAP policies assure that healthy foods, such as fresh produce, low-fat milk and whole grain cereals are available through eight regional food banks and 2,400 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters supported by HPNAP.

More about HPNAP

Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Project (JSY)

The JSY program is a comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention program. Using nutrition education workshops, food demonstrations and environmental strategies to improve access to healthier foods and physical activity, JSY helps to ensure low-income families in New York eat nutritious foods, make the most of their food budgets and prepare foods safely. Workshops provide practical nutrition information using USDA approved lesson plans, recipes and cooking demonstrations focusing on fruits and vegetables and low-fat ingredients.

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Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The WIC Program provides supplemental food, participant-centered nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and linkages with health and social services for eligible low-income women and children to improve pregnancy outcomes, promote optimal growth and development for infants and children, and influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors. NYS has developed many initiatives that assist WIC participants in achieving healthier lifestyles and contribute to decreasing overweight and obesity.

More about WIC

iChoose600® Media Campaign

Through a federal grant, the iChoose600® campaign was developed to increase consumer awareness about calories in burger-based chain restaurants and to provide consumers with guidance on selecting meals within daily calorie recommendations. To date, the campaign has been implemented in four counties: Albany, Schenectady, Suffolk and Ulster.

More about iChoose600®

Community and School Sectors

Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC), 2015-2020

CHSC is a coordinated, multi-sector initiative designed to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity in high-need school districts and their associated communities. Twenty-five grantees from around the state implement sustainable policy, systems, and place-based changes that support the creation of healthier schools and communities. One Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence (OPCE) provides training, implementation support, and facilitates a learning collaborative with the 25 grantees. The OPCE also conducts activities for local health departments in support of the New York State Prevention Agenda Toward the Healthiest State.

Grant goals include:

  • Increasing the number of schools with:
    • healthy nutrition environments;
    • standards for competitive foods;
    • comprehensive and strong Local School Wellness Policies; and
    • Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs.
  • Decreasing the number of schools that allow food marketing to children.
  • Increasing the number of:
    • small food retailers selling healthy and affordable foods;
    • food and beverage procurement policies in communities;
    • community organizations, municipalities, and worksites that have adopted healthy food standards; and
    • local policies that have language supportive of environmental changes to enhance walking, biking, and rolling.
  • Increasing access to places to walk, bike, and wheel.

More about CHSC, 2015-2020

Implementing Food Standards in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Improving Nutrition at Schools in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Increasing Physical Activity in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Child Care Sector

Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

The Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program encourages new mothers to breastfeed their infants. CACFP encourages child care centers and family day care homes to support breastfeeding families and recognizes these providers with Breastfeeding Friendly certificates. Child care center/day care home staff complete an assessment that shows they support breastfeeding families.

More about Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

Health Care Sector

Breastfeeding Friendly Practices Designation

The Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program encourages new mothers to breastfeed their infants. Pediatric, family, and obstetric/gynecologic provider practices are encouraged to support breastfeeding before and after birth. Designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice requires completion of pre- and post- assessments documenting practice support for breastfeeding, participation in a virtual learning network, and submission of a written office breastfeeding policy for review by the Department.

Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice