The United States Conference of
Mayors (USCM), in partnership with the American Beverage Association (ABA), has
created the Childhood Obesity Prevention Program,
a landmark three-year initiative to provide support to cities in their efforts
to eradicate childhood obesity. The
partnership has three core components:
Grants. Over the course
of three years USCM and ABA will award nearly $1.3 million over the next three
years to cities nationwide:
the press release
- The first
grants totalling $445,000 were made in January 2012, when USCM and ABA announced the first-ever recipients
of the “Childhood Obesity Prevention Awards.”
- The awards recognized the outstanding
mayoral initiatives that have the
greatest potential to stem the tide of the childhood obesity epidemic.
- The monetary
awards will support and/or enhance mayors’ ongoing childhood obesity prevention
programs in their cities.
VIDEO: 2012 Childhood Obesity Prevention
Public Awareness. In
addition to the awards program, the initiative includes a significant public
- In June 2012, at
the Annual Meeting in Orlando, USCM recruited 76 Mayors from cities across the
country to record radio public service announcements (PSAs) in English (and
Spanish where possible) on ways that parents and other citizens can help
reverse the childhood obesity epidemic.
- USCM aims to run the PSAs in September
2012, during National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, and throughout the
year. (Take a look at the left column for resources that mayors and others
can use to raise awareness of childhood obesity in their communities.)
Best Practices. The third component of this initiative will be
to connect mayors with innovative, cost-effective program strategies to
successfully reduce childhood obesity in their cities. A best practices publication is due in Fall
2012; USCM is also working on building a database of innovative childhood
obesity prevention programs and initiatives.
The United States Conference of Mayors (USCM)
The U.S. Conference of Mayors
(USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of
30,000 or more. There are 1,210 such cities in the country today; its chief
elected official, the mayor, represents each member city in the Conference.
USCM is an organization the purpose of which is the general improvement of
every branch of City government and, thereby, the betterment of the nation’s
Cities. In 2004, The Conference of
Mayors launched the Mayors Healthy Cities
Campaign and identified the reversal of current childhood obesity
trends as one of its top public health priorities.
the American Beverage Association (ABA)
The American Beverage Association
is the national trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies
that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages including regular and
diet soft drinks, juices and juice drinks, bottled water and water beverages,
sports drinks, energy drinks and ready to drink teas in the United States. The
beverage industry has a direct economic impact of $178.5 billion and ABA member
companies employ more than 208,000 people across the country.
ABA and its member companies have a
demonstrable history of engaging in public policy leadership initiatives
designed to help address obesity, including the national School Beverage
Guidelines that limit portion sizes and reduce the number of beverage calories
available to children during the school day, as well as the signature “Clear on
Calories” program, which is placing calorie information on the front of all
packages, vending and fountain machines.