Local News

Commission Awards $7.4 Million In Grants To Combat Child Obesity

Posted November 4, 2003 12:57 p.m. EST

— The North Carolina Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission

has announced 17 grants totaling $7.43 million to be used over the next three years as part of a statewide campaign to address the epidemic of obesity among children and youth in North Carolina.

"Obesity is poised to replace tobacco use as the No. 1 cause of preventable disease in North Carolina," said Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue, who chairs the Commission. "Research shows that obesity overwhelmingly tends to begin in childhood and is carried into adulthood, often with devastating consequences for long-term health."

The Commission awarded $5 million in grants to 12 local organizations that will serve schools and communities in 19 counties initially, expanding to 35 counties within a year.

Another four grants, totaling $1.7 million were awarded to organizations that will provide service on a regional or statewide basis.

The remainder of the funds were allocated for technical support and training services for the grantees, which will be provided by the Duke University Medical Center, Department of Community and Family Medicine.

Grant funds will be used to provide intervention programs for overweight children, including after-school exercise programs and nutritional counseling. Grantees also will focus efforts on public education and adoption of local policies that address the underlying issues.