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

Breastfeeding, Chestfeeding, and Lactation Friendly New York (BFFNY), 2023-2028

BFFNY provides funding to nine contractors to implement policy, systems, and environmental changes across community settings to improve continuity of care for breast/chestfeeding families. The project aims to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration and reduce racial/ethnic disparities in breastfeeding, especially exclusive breastfeeding, in NYS.

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Creating Breastfeeding Friendly Communities (CBFC), 2017-2023

CBFC provides funding to six contractors to establish breastfeeding friendly coordinated community support networks for families from pregnancy through infancy to increase breastfeeding initiation, exclusivity and duration. The funded entities advance broad-based policy, system and environmental changes that protect and promote breastfeeding within community settings and businesses.

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Hunger Prevention and Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP)

HPNAP provides funding to 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Community and School Sectors

Creating Healthy Schools and Communities (CHSC), 2021-2026

CHSC is a comprehensive, community-based participatory approach to increasing opportunities for physical activity and improved nutrition for people across the age span. Twenty-five grantee organizations establish and expand local public health efforts to readily implement evidence-based physical activity and nutrition strategies that build on existing community assets and coalitions, allowing for the flexibility to tailor interventions that meet the unique needs of communities, and leverage resources from multiple stakeholders and sectors (e.g. early child care, local government, faith-based, business and industry, community recreation and parks, mass media, transportation, community planning and design, and education) in high-need communities of New York State. A Physical Activity and Nutrition Center of Excellence provides training, technical assistance, and implementation support to CHSC grantees. This approach supports and aligns with the New York State Department of Health Prevention Agenda (2019-2024) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) New York State Physical Activity and Nutrition Program (2018-2023).

More about CHSC, 2021-2026

Implementing Food Standards in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Improving Nutrition at Schools in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Increasing Physical Activity in NYS (2013-2018) (PDF)

Child Care Sector

Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care

The Department of Health encourages new parents 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

Health Care Sector

Breastfeeding Friendly Practices Designation

The Department of Health encourages new parents 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.

Become a Breastfeeding Friendly Practice