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Oregon State University Extension Service Combats Childhood Obesity through New Program in Rural Schools
August 31, 2017

The children’s obesity epidemic in America stretches to all ends of the country, including rural communities. Oregon State University Extension Service is determined to make a change with their new toolkit that aims to help teachers engage rural Oregon youth in healthier lifestyles. 

HEAL MAPPSTM receives Jeanne M. Priester Award for Innovation
May 11, 2017

The Priester Award honors Extension programs that positively affect the health and wellness of people across the United States and provide leadership to expand Extension’s capacity to increase the number of Americans who are healthy at every stage of life. This award recognizes sound and innovative programs and impactful leadership in health and wellness at the county, state, and national level. 

GROW Celebrates Three Years with Molalla
June 9, 2016

The event, Celebrate Health Molalla, drew a crowd of over 300 people to Fox Park with live music from Molalla River Academy’s marimba, bucket drummers, and rock band. Free snacks and prizes for all were provided by GROW HKC, and the smoothies were made by the GREEN Corps Fresh Start program of the Clackamas County Juvenile Department.


Creating a Healthy Community
February 4, 2016

Through the Oregon State University Extension SNAP-Ed nutrition program, students at Clackamas River, River Mill Elementary School and Estacada Junior High are learning ways to incorporate better nutrition into their daily lives. The program encourages families on a limited budget to make healthy food choices.


Public Health PhD Alumna Receives OSU 2015 Student Leader Award
July 10, 2015

College of Public Health and Human Sciences alumna Jenny Jackson, PhD ’15, has received the 2015 Student Leader Award from Oregon State University for her contributions to students, the community and Oregon.


Let's Move! Molalla
October 10, 2015

This video was produced in response to a GROW Healthy Kids & Communities community readiness assessment that found there was vague awareness of childhood obesity in the Molalla community. In response, community members chose to use visual media to raise awareness and readiness to change. The goal was to promote the new and existing physical activity and healthy eating resources created in partnership with GROW HKC.  They also wanted to create positive messaging to support healthy family behaviors and a sense of community pride.

Solving the Weighty Matter of Kids' Health
February 13, 2015

Patty Case and her Extension colleagues don’t just teach about healthy lifestyles. Rather, they partner on multiple levels (in the cafeteria, on the playground, at the community rec center) with a circle of constituents (local leaders, community groups, parents, school principals, P.E. teachers) to  change the environment and make healthy choices the easy option.


OSU - GROW Healthy Kids & Communities Receives Community Partner Award from Molalla River School District (PDF)
October 15, 2014

Periodically the Molalla River School District Board recognizes the impact of various groups and organizations that make a difference in the lives of children in the community of Molalla. In August, the board recognized Oregon State University’s Generating Rural Options for Weight Healthy Kids & Communities (GROW HKC) research and Extension Program as an outstanding community partner.


CPHHS Experts Weigh in on Childhood Obesitiy Awareness Month
September 15, 2014

Researchers in the College of Public Health and Human Sciences are working to reverse childhood obesity, including Assistant Professor Deborah John and Assistant Professor Siew Sun Wong, discuss childhood obesity, how to prevent children from becoming obese and what to do if there’s already a problem.


Obesity Solutions Discussed
September 9, 2014

Locally, Brenda Bishop, the home economics coordinator for the Quay County Extension Office, coordinated the efforts of volunteers and helped compile local results.  Using a technique developed at Oregon State called HEAL MAPPs, the volunteers tracked their own pursuit of exercise and nutrition opportunities using cameras and GPS devices.


GROW Healthy Food Environments for Oregon’s Rural Communities
July 3, 2014

Rural residency tends to increase the risk of being overweight or obese for both children and adults. Access to, affordability of, and availability of a wide variety of healthy foods, including fruit and vegetables, is limited in rural areas despite the rural agricultural landscape. The location of farmers’ markets, convenience stores, food co-ops, restaurants, and fast food options influences the dietary and physical activity practices of children and families.


Molalla Eats its Veggies and Goes the Extra Mile
April 8, 2014

Mapping data from GROW Healthy Kids & Communities helped Molalla High School's 4-H Culture Club gain enough momentum to break ground on a new garden at Molalla High School in March. The data demonstrated the need to improve the local food system and helped the club secure a $5,000 grant from PacificSource Foundation and the CPHHS Extension program Youth Advocates for Health. Businesses and community organizations have also supported the school garden, which is Oregon’s 500th.


Is Laughlin a Healthy Place to Live?
October 29, 2013

Members of the community and representatives of the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension program gathered together Oct. 17 to discuss the results of the Health Eating Active Living: Mapping Attributes Using Participatory Photographic Surveys - also known as HEAL MAPPS - conducted in the spring.


Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
July 19, 2013

The rural nature of Gardnerville makes it one of four communities in Nevada under study by Oregon State University researchers who received a $4.8 million federal grant to study obesity prevention in rural children.


Preventing Obesity in High Risk Families
November 20, 2012

Obesity has become the number one health concern in young Americans, and Land-Grant universities are collaborating on innovative research and extension efforts to help reverse this trend. Since obesity was first declared a public health concern in 1952, the number of overweight or obese U.S. citizens has reached epidemic levels.


Weighty Matters: More Children Obese in Rural Areas
November 3, 2012

Children living in rural areas are at a 20 to 50 percent higher risk of being overweight or obese, and researchers at the Oregon State University Extension Service are about to launch a three-year program to find out why and figure out ways to change it.


Healthy Kids Make Good Students
October 10, 2012

Estacada will become one of several testing grounds over the next three years as the Oregon State University Extension Service works to de-code how local communities influence child health and wellness.


Study Beginnings

College Receives $4.8 Million Grant to Prevent Rural Childhood Obesity
January 28, 2011

The College of Health and Human Sciences has received a $4.8 million grant to develop an obesity prevention program for children in rural Oregon. Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), announced the award during a press conference on the OSU campus January 13, 2011. “Childhood obesity is a problem many families face across the nation,” he said. “However, children in rural areas face obstacles such as limited access to fresh healthy food, physical activity and recreational programs that help prevent obesity.”


USDA Announces Grant to Develop Obesity Prevention Program at Oregon State University
January 13, 2011

Roger Beachy, director of USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA), today awarded funding to Oregon State University researchers to develop an obesity prevention program for children in rural Oregon.



This material is based upon work that was supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under award number 2011-68001-30020. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.