Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity remains a major public health crisis for the nation and our region.

A National Epidemic

The incidence of obesity among children is staggering. During the past three decades, childhood obesity rates in America have tripled, and today, nearly one in three children in this country is overweight or obese. These children have a much higher risk of developing serious chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and many cancers, which have long been associated with middle age. In fact, some experts are estimating that one in three of today's pre-adolescents will suffer from type 2 diabetes in adulthood.

Our Involvement

During the past decade, the Highmark Foundation has taken a leadership position regionally in combating this epidemic and remains committed to funding programs that are sustainable, replicable and that achieve measurable outcomes.

The programs the Foundation has introduced fall into two major categories: physical activity and nutrition. Physical activity—in a variety of forms—has been a key element of the Highmark Foundation's plan to address the national health epidemic. To complement these efforts, the Foundation also supports the efforts of hundreds of school districts and other community-based programs that educate children and families about the benefits of healthy nutrition and eating habits.

Combined, these efforts have reached more than 1 million children and more than 1,500 schools across Pennsylvania, and we're still not done.


Goals and Strategies

Goals and Strategies

The Foundation remains committed to working toward change and prevention in the area of childhood obesity. Learn more about their goals and strategies to address this epidemic.

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Proper Nutrition

Proper Nutrition

The Highmark Foundation supports programs that work directly with children and adolescents to promote nutrition and healthy eating habits through behavior-focused strategies.

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Physical Activity

Physical Activity

The Highmark Foundation supports programs that work directly with children and adolescents to promote physical activity through behavior-focused strategies.

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  • Established childhood obesity prevention efforts in 2000
  • Funded programs that have directly impacted schools and community-based organizations
  • Reached more than 1 million children in Pennsylvania
  • Granted 1,500 school buildings funds to implement year-long wellness programs

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