Donor Strategies to Prevent Childhood Obesity: Lessons from Greater Philadelphia

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Across the United States, donors are working on multiple aspects of the fight to prevent childhood obesity. While this guide features approaches implemented nationwide, we have focused on examples of their implementation in Philadelphia, as a city that may serve as a national model due to its decreases in childhood obesity amongst some of the most affected populations (African-American, Hispanic, and low-income youth). The guide identifies three strategies for donors who seek change: start early; increase access to healthy foods and physical activity; and enable healthy choices.

For each strategy, this document offers:

  • a rationale for donor investment;
  • a case example to illustrate how philanthropic funds can produce change; and
  • additional promising approaches, as well as examples of organizations implementing those approaches in the Greater Philadelphia region.

Given the human suffering, societal burden and economic cost at stake, the question is not WHETHER to invest in childhood obesity prevention, but HOW? We hope this guide helps donors move from good intentions to high impact.