Since 2009, the Heathy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) has focused on helping to improve the health of the next generation. In the following, we look at initiatives implemented by HWCF and its 300 partner organizations, as well as how the foundation has helped more than 90 million children and young people worldwide to stay active and healthy.
HWCF aims to combat rising obesity.
A broad-based, nonprofit organization, HWCF was created as a solution to rising obesity rates in the United States today, with a special focus on childhood obesity. HWCF partners with more than 300 nonprofit and corporate partners to deliver award-winning outreach programs designed to help improve the health of young people across the United States.
Together Counts is a free healthy lifestyle school curriculum program implemented by HWCF with a reach of more than 4.8 million US students.
HWCF worked with First Lady Michelle Obama on her Let’s Move health initiative. They collaborated with food and beverage producers to bring more low-calorie choices to the market, providing consumers with a greater number of healthy alternatives. The initiative ultimately led to the removal of more than 6.4 trillion calories from America’s food and beverage market, exceeding HWCF’s goal by over 400% three years earlier than expected.
HWCF seeks to educate the public about healthy eating habits.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) cites childhood obesity as a serious problem in the United States today, putting the nation’s children and young people at risk of developing many serious and potentially life-shortening conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.
The CDC estimate that of those US citizens between the ages of 2 and 19 years old, 18.5% are obese, equating to more than 13.7 million children and adolescents. Studies show that children from families with low incomes are disproportionately affected.
HWCF helps to educate young people and their parents through outreach programs, providing them with the information that they need to make better food choices. Through its partnerships with food and beverage manufacturers, the foundation aims to supply the public with healthier alternatives.
HWCF delivers public health messages promoting a healthy lifestyle.
Over the course of the last decade, the foundation has been delivering public health messages that provide information and support to help families make healthy choices that will have a real impact on their daily lives, facilitate healthier lifestyles, lower obesity, and reduce the risk of developing obesity-related complications and conditions.
Through its Smart from the Start program, HWCF has reached more than 10% of pre-term US children living below the poverty line. Its award-winning school health curriculum has reached more than 48 million children since its inception.
Recent studies reveal that obesity rates in US children between the ages of 2 and 5 have plateaued and even decreased in some categories. Experts attribute this to the work of HWCF and its more than 300 partners and their innovative efforts to deliver messages promoting a healthy lifestyle.
HWCF works with some of the biggest food and beverage manufacturers in the United States. The foundation aims to help them to bring lower-calorie, single-serving options to the market. While the foundation initially pledged to remove 1.5 trillion calories from the American food market through its work with food producers, the actual figure exceeded 6.4 trillion.
HWCF possesses a variety of programs.
Together Counts is an innovative healthy lifestyle program designed to help children and their families to make better food choices. Partnering with leading experts in the field of education, the foundation developed and delivered healthy lifestyle tools to help educate more than 34.5 million school children on the importance of health and nutrition.
Moreover, the Smart from the Start Awards honor educators who create long-term improvements in physical activity and nutrition at their pre-schools. So far, Smart from the Start has awarded nearly 50 grants to faculty, community members, schools, and families, encouraging them to make life-changing choices that support a healthy lifestyle.
HWCF’s grants to schools seek to enable them to upgrade food service equipment and encourage healthy eating. In addition, it finances the construction of new playgrounds and aims to motivate children to become more physically active and to have fun outdoors with their friends. To date, the foundation has pledged more than $1.3 million to schools, particularly in areas with disproportionate rates of obesity, helping educators promote wellness and the importance of maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle.
HWCF spearheads global initiatives to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.
In 2016, the organization reached out to partners in South America, launching the Latin American Commitment to a Healthy Future program at the World Economic Forum on Latin America.
HWCF has websites and online toolkits to help students, parents and educators. These are available in English, Spanish and Portuguese.
In Brazil, HWCF is working with Discovery Na Escola to provide a free curriculum and wellness program to be distributed to more than 390,000 students in 1,000 schools in 20 Brazilian cities. HWCF is also implementing programs throughout Mexico and Colombia, promoting healthy lifestyle choices to children not only in the United States, but also across South America.