The USDA has awarded $9 million in grants to develop childhood obesity intervention programs through colleges and universities in 12 states and Puerto Rico. The grants are funded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI), the flagship competitive grant program authorized under the 2014 Farm Bill.
“One-third of the children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, making this issue one of the greatest health challenges facing our nation,” said USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack. “It is critical that we make the effort to help our children be healthy kids, and develop into healthy adults,” said Vilsack.
USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) made the awards through the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area.
The awards include:
- California State University, Chico, Calif., $149,890
- University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, Calif. $777,508
- University of California-Davis, Davis, Calif. $690,537
The CSU Chico project will work to better understand strategies for promoting healthy eating behaviors through mindful eating among children and families in the Hispanic community; The UC Berkeley project will seek to improve dietary intake and reduce obesity among low-income youth and enhance the financial and social sustainability of school food-service programs by promoting healthier habits while utilizing the principles of behavioral economics; and the UC Davis project will focus on the expansion of the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program in a medical clinic setting, and will bring the Healthy Kids program to Spanish-speaking populations in California and Nevada.
NIFA anticipates making $42 million available over the next five years for the AFRI Childhood Obesity Prevention Challenge Area, with the expectation that the new projects awarded this fiscal year would receive additional funds (based on available funding) if they achieve project objectives and milestones.
Find a complete list of this year’s project descriptions on the NIFA website.