Prevent obesity in rural children

GROW-HKCNew! HEAL MAPPSTM wins 2017 Jeanne Priester Award!                  Learn more »

Generating Rural Options for Weight (GROW) Healthy Kids and Communities was launched in 2011 as an integrated research, education, and Extension program that seeks to inspire communities, schools, and families to create environments that make it easy for children to eat healthfully and be physically active most every day where they live, learn, grow, and play. Our overarching goal is to prevent a rise in overweight and obesity prevalence in elementary school students as they progress from Kindergarten through 6th grade. GROW Healthy Kids and Communities uses community engagement methods and tools, with a participatory action research approach, to establish and contribute to a rural-specific, evidence-based research model for childhood obesity prevention. The program uses innovative technologies, including community mapping and geographic information systems data to explore the obesogenic context in rural landscapes and develop policy, systems, and environmental strategies that communities can use to help families cultivate and maintain weight healthy lifestyle patterns.

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GROW Healthy Kids & Communities engages with Oregon’s rural residents and sectors, and mobilizes them to learn about the diversity of lived experiences of local food and physical activity resources. GROW HKC empowers communities to generate data, select and implement data-driven environmental strategies unique to rural areas that will benefit residents and visitors for years to come.. GROW Healthy Kids & Communities engages Oregon public schools and helps school partners examine and improve school physical activity and nutrition environments. GROW HKC guides and supports evidence-based modifications to school environments, systems, and policies that promote and improve students’ healthy eating and physical activity behaviors at school. GROW Healthy Kids & Communities helps Oregon families living in rural places to overcome weight healthy lifestyle obstacles and improve the healthy nutrition and physical activity context in their family home. GROW HKC supports rural families’ choices and abilities that make healthy eating and physical activity behaviors at home easy and sustainable.