HHS commits $10 million to curb tobacco use, obesity

WASHINGTON The Department of Health and Human Services on Thursday awarded $10 million to 10 national nonprofit organizations to support public health efforts to reduce tobacco use and reduce obesity through increased physical activity and improved nutrition.

These competitive awards are part of the HHS Communities Putting Prevention to Work initiative, a prevention and wellness initiative funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.


“Communities Putting Prevention to Work will transform the environments where Americans live, work, learn and play to promote health and prevent heart attack, cancer, diabetes and stroke,” stated HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius.  “As our nation’s healthcare system evolves, preventing disease will improve Americans’ quality of life.”



“In the United States, 7-of-10 deaths result from chronic disease, with tobacco, obesity, poor nutrition and lack of physical activity as the key risk factors for disease,” commented HHS assistant secretary for health Howard Koh. “We are proud to partner with these national organizations that have proven their expertise and will advance progress in helping Americans achieve and enjoy better health.”



Of the 10 organizations receiving $1 million grants, seven organizations will receive funding for obesity prevention and three will receive funding for tobacco prevention and cessation.


Examples of the strategies being funded include incentives to food retailers to locate and offer healthier options in underserved areas; healthier choices in child care, schools and the workplace; subsidized memberships to recreational facilities; safe routes to school; and evidence-based strategies that discourage tobacco use and increase utilization of cessation programs. The awardees are American Academy of Pediatrics, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, Association of American Indian Physicians, BlazeSports America, Community Food Security Coalition, National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund, National Recreation and Parks Association, Sesame Workshop and Society for Public Health Education.


CPPW reflects HHS' broader commitment to helping prevent disease before it starts. The program has five distinct initiatives: a community initiative, a states and territories change initiative, a states chronic disease self-management initiative, the national organizations initiative and a supporting media campaign.



In addition to these new grant awards to national organizations, HHS soon will launch a National Prevention Media Campaign that will deliver hard-hitting advertisements to complement and support the work of CPPW. A contract for $28 million recently was awarded to the Academy for Educational Development. This new media contract also will develop consumer materials for First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign aimed at preventing childhood obesity.


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