Obesity Prevention Programs and Activities

The Department of Health works with many partners and contractors to develop and implement a range of obesity prevention programs in community, child care, school and heath care settings.

Community Sector

Designing a Strong and Healthy New York (DASH-NY)

DASH-NY leads a statewide coalition and works with partners from such sectors as transportation, agriculture, economic development, planning, education, academia, and health care, to develop sustainable policy, systems and environmental changes and strategies for reducing the burden of obesity and chronic disease. DASH-NY provides policy analysis, training, technical assistance, and support for sustainable changes that increase access to healthy food and safe places to be physically active for communities, schools, child care and health care.

More about DASH-NY

Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP)

HPNAP provides funding to 47 contractors and their 2,400 emergency food programs to provide nutritious food to supplement meals to those in need throughout New York State. HPNAP policies assure that healthy foods, such as fresh produce, low-fat milk and whole grain cereals are available through eight regional food banks and 2,400 food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters supported by HPNAP.

More about HPNAP

Just Say Yes to Fruits and Vegetables Project (JSY)

The JSY program is a comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention program. Using nutrition education workshops, food demonstrations and environmental strategies to improve access to healthier foods and physical activity, JSY helps to ensure low-income families in New York eat nutritious foods, make the most of their food budgets and prepare foods safely. Workshops provide practical nutrition information using USDA approved lesson plans, recipes and cooking demonstrations focusing on fruits and vegetables and low-fat ingredients.

More about JSY

Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The WIC Program provides supplemental food, participant-centered nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding support, and linkages with health and social services for eligible low-income women and children to improve pregnancy outcomes, promote optimal growth and development for infants and children, and influence lifetime nutrition and health behaviors. NYS has developed many initiatives that assist WIC participants in achieving healthier lifestyles and contribute to decreasing overweight and obesity.

More about WIC

iChoose600® Media Campaign

Through a federal grant, the iChoose600® campaign was developed to increase consumer awareness about calories in burger-based chain restaurants and to provide consumers with guidance on selecting meals within daily calorie recommendations. To date, the campaign has been implemented in four counties: Albany, Schenectady, Suffolk and Ulster.

More about iChoose600®

Community and School Sectors

Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC)

CHSC is a coordinated, multi-sector initiative designed to increase demand for and access to healthy, affordable foods and opportunities for daily physical activity in high-need school districts and their associated communities. Twenty-five grantees from around the state will implement sustainable policy, systems, and place-based changes that support the creation of healthier schools and communities. One Obesity Prevention Center for Excellence (OPCE) will provide training, implementation support, and facilitate a learning collaborative with the 25 grantees. The OPCE will also conduct activities for local health departments in support of the New York State Prevention Agenda Toward the Healthiest State.

Grant goals include:

  • Increasing the number of schools with:
    • healthy nutrition environments;
    • standards for competitive foods;
    • comprehensive and strong Local School Wellness Policies; and
    • Comprehensive School Physical Activity Programs.
  • Decreasing the number of schools that allow food marketing to children.
  • Increasing the number of:
    • small food retailers selling healthy and affordable foods;
    • food and beverage procurement policies in communities;
    • community organizations, municipalities, and worksites that have adopted healthy food standards; and
    • local policies that have language supportive of environmental changes to enhance walking, biking, and rolling.
  • Increasing access to places to walk, bike, and wheel.

More about CHSC

Creating Healthy Places to Live, Work and Play and Healthy Schools NY (2010-2015) (PDF)

Child Care Sector

Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS)

The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) provides reimbursement to child care and day care programs that serve nutritious meals and snacks to children and adults in care. CACFP funds six Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to implement Eat Well Play Hard in Child Care Settings (EWPHCCS), a nutrition education and obesity prevention intervention in CACFP-participating child care centers serving low-income children and their families. Each of the grantees implemented a Champions project that seeks to integrate EWPHCCS into the entire child care center environment. Four of the grantees are also implementing a Farm to Preschool project to increase child and family access to fresh fruits and vegetables.

More about EWPHCCS

Four CACFP sponsors of day care homes are funded to implement Eat Well Play Hard in Day Care Homes (EWPHDCH), an obesity prevention initiative to improve the nutrition, meal time, and physical activity environment in day care homes.

More about EWPHDCH

Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

The Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program encourages new mothers to breastfeed their infants. CACFP encourages child care centers and family day care homes to support breastfeeding families and recognizes these providers with Breastfeeding Friendly certificates. Child care center/day care home staff complete an assessment that shows they support breastfeeding families.

More about Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

Healthcare Sector

Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals (BQIH)

The Department of Health is working with the National Institute for Children's Health Quality to develop and implement the BQIH. The aim of the BQIH Learning Collaborative is to increase the percentage of infants fed any breast milk and the percentage of infants fed only breast milk and to decrease the percentage of breastfed infants supplemented with formula during the birth hospitalization.

More about BQIH: Development of the Breastfeeding Quality Improvement in Hospitals Learning Collaborative in New York State.

Breastfeeding Friendly Practices Designation

The Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program encourages new mothers to breastfeed their infants. Pediatric, family, and obstetric/gynecologic provider practices are encouraged to support breastfeeding before and after birth. Designation as a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice requires completion of pre- and post- assessments documenting practice support for breastfeeding, participation in a virtual learning network, and submission of a written office breastfeeding policy for review by the Department.

More about Breastfeeding Friendly Practices: Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice

Obesity Prevention in Pediatric Health Care Settings (OPPHCS)

Nine contractors work with pediatric practices throughout the state in a learning collaborative to implement national guidelines for assessment, prevention and treatment of obesity and overweight, and to help practices achieve Breastfeeding Friendly Practice designation.

More about Obesity Prevention in Pediatric Health Care Settings (OPPHCS)