State Health Department Awards $4.5 Million to Combat Childhood Obesity

Nine Regional Organizations Receive Grants to Improve Pediatric Care

ALBANY, N.Y. (November 7, 2011) - State Health Commissioner Nirav R. Shah, M.D., M.P.H., today announced that nine organizations have been awarded State grants totaling up to $4.5 million over five years to reduce child and adolescent obesity.

The grants are targeted to help children and adolescents in populations reflecting high incidence of obesity and excess weight, including low-income populations, certain racial and ethnic minorities, and persons with developmental disabilities. The grant funding will support training for health care providers and other initiatives.

"Overweight and obese children are at great risk for a lifetime of serious health problems such as diabetes, coronary disease or hypertension, and earlier intervention can result in better quality of life and reduced health care problems," Commissioner Shah said. "These grants offer health care providers greater tools to assess pediatric patients for weight problems and takes appropriate steps to prevent childhood obesity."

Approximately 32 percent of students in public schools outside of New York City are overweight or obese; and 40 percent of New York City public school students aged 6 through 12 are overweight or obese. In addition, State health care expenditures related to obesity in children and adolescents costs the New York State an estimated $242 million each year. Obesity is the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality in New York and the U.S. as a whole, and a key risk factor for many debilitating diseases.

The New York State Department of Health's Obesity Prevention Program is working to reduce the prevalence of obesity and overweight children and adolescents, as well as the burden of obesity-related diseases. Initiatives include: health care programs to promote age-appropriate screening for obesity, educating community members and officials about the public health threat of obesity; and surveillance and evaluation of anti-obesity programs

Grant recipients will receive initial awards of $150,000 for an 18-month period, and may qualify for additional awards to a maximum of $500,000 over the five-year period. The grants will facilitate the delivery of pediatric care in accordance with the American Medical Association's Expert Committee Recommendations for the Assessment, Prevention and Treatment of Child and Adolescent Overweight and Obesity (

Grant recipients are as follows:

Organization Counties
Clinton County Department of Health Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton
Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) Cayuga, Onondaga, Oswego
Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester
Maimonides Medical Center Kings
Seton Health Albany, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Otsego, Rensselaer, Schenectady, Schoharie
The Research Foundation of the State University of New York (Buffalo) Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans
The Stephen and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center Nassau, Suffolk
United Health Services Broome, Chenango, Cortland, Tioga, Tompkins
University of Rochester Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Wayne

For additional information about obesity prevention, visit the Department of Health web site at: