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.


Designing a Strong and Healthy New York (DASH-NY)

DASH-NY leads a statewide coalition and works with partners from such sectors as transportation, agriculture, economic development, planning, education, academia, and health care, to develop sustainable policy, systems and environmental changes and strategies for reducing the burden of obesity and chronic disease. DASH-NY provides policy analysis, training, technical assistance, and support for sustainable changes that increase access to healthy food and safe places to be physically active for communities, schools, child care and health care.

More about DASH-NY: http://www.nyam.org/dash-ny-program/home.html

Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play (CHPLWP)

CHPLWP is a comprehensive initiative designed to prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes by implementing sustainable policy, systems and environmental changes in New York communities. Twenty-two contractors work to improve the health and physical activity status for communities by:

  • Increasing the availability and accessibility of places to be physically active.
  • Creating and maintaining community landscapes conducive to physical activity, such as playgrounds and walking trails.
  • Increasing the availability and accessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Increasing the healthful quality of foods offered for sale at local restaurants and corner stores.

In addition to community efforts, five contractors work with employers to improve the health of their employees by making the work place healthier by:

  • Increasing opportunities to buy healthy food and be physically active at or near work.
  • Enhancing employer health plans to ensure employees receive needed health care and participate in programs or services that prevent obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Creating a supportive environment for nursing mothers to breastfeed or pump milk while at work.

More about CHPLWP: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/healthy_places.htm

Healthy Eating and Active Living by Design (HEALD)

Twelve HEALD contractors implement community policy, systems and environmental changes in schools and communities to reduce risks for heart disease and obesity by increasing access to healthful foods and opportunities for physical activity.

More about HEALD: http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/cardiovascular/heart_disease/contractors.htm

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: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/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.

More about JSY: http://www.jsyfruitveggies.org/

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: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/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 iChoose: iChoose600®


Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement to child care and day care programs that serve nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults in care. CACFP funds six Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to implement Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS), a nutrition education and obesity prevention intervention in CACFP-participating child care centers serving low-income children and their families. Each of the grantees implemented a Champions project that seeks to integrate EWPHCCS into the entire child care center environment. Four of the grantees are also implementing a Farm to Preschool project to increase child and family access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

More about EWPHCCS: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/cacfp/ewphccs.htm

Four CACFP sponsors of day care homes are funded to implement Eat Well Play Hard in Day Care Homes (EWPHDCH), an obesity prevention initiative to improve the nutrition, meal time, and physical activity environment in day care homes.

More about EWPHDCH: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/cacfp/ewphdch.htm

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: http://www.health.ny.gov/prevention/nutrition/cacfp/breastfeedingspon.htm


Healthy Schools New York (HSNY)

HSNY provides technical assistance and resources to 180 school districts to establish healthful eating environments and daily physical activity opportunities, including physical education, for students of all abilities. Eighteen regional contractors work with school district personnel to assess school wellness policies and develop or strengthen key policy elements and practices.

More about HSNY: http://wheresmype.org/local_support.php


Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH)

The Department of Health is working with the National Institute for Children's Health Quality to develop and implement the BQIH. The aim of the BQIH Learning Collaborative is to increase the percentage of infants fed any breast milk and the percentage of infants fed only breast milk and to decrease the percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with formula during the birth hospitalization.

More about BQIH: Development of the Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals Learning Collaborative in New York State. http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1089/bfm.2012.0107

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.

More about Breastfeeding Friendly Practices: New York State Breastfeeding Friendly Practice Implementation Guide.


Obesity Prevention in Pediatric Health Care Settings (OPPHCS)

Nine contractors work with pediatric practices throughout the state in a learning collaborative to implement national guidelines for assessment, prevention and treatment of obesity and overweight, and to help practices achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Practice designation.

More about OPPHCS: Obesity Prevention in Pediatric Health Care Settings (OPPHCS)