Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Every Child Growing Up at a Healthy Weight

After years of rising childhood obesity rates, we have started to see signs of progress. Still, more than one-third of young people are overweight or obese—a rate far higher than it was a generation ago. African-American and Latino youth continue to have higher obesity rates than their white peers. This leads to higher rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and other lifelong health risks that used to affect only adults. In fact, today’s generation of children may be the first to live shorter lives than their parents.

As part of its ongoing work to ensure that all children can grow up at a healthy weight, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation turned to MG to explore a new strategic imperative: building demand for healthier environments and options among parents. Through a national poll, focus groups with parents and discussions with experts across the country, we explored what parents thought about their community’s impact on their child’s health, what they would most like to change, and how to support them in demanding change. We’ve summarized our findings and actionable recommendations for organizations working on obesity prevention in a guide called “Inspiring Parents to Demand Communities Where All Children Can Grow Up at a Healthy Weight.”