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Peer-Reviewed Article Measures Progress, Challenges in Fighting Childhood Obesity Crisis Through Private Sector Partnerships

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 24, 2017) – A new article published today in Current Obesity Reports overviews the tangible results of, and lessons learned from, the Partnership for a Healthier America’s (PHA) work to combat America’s childhood obesity crisis through private sector partnerships.

As the report details here, since 2010 PHA has worked with more than 200 private sector partners – including food companies, sports brands, housing developers, childcare companies, retailers and convenience stores – to develop legally binding and carefully monitored commitments designed to address childhood obesity through market transformation.

One such partnership led Dannon to reduce sugar and fat in its yogurts and increase the nutrient density of its products consistent with recommendations from the Institute of Medicine and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

While company-specific commitments have been integral to PHA’s success in driving market change, sector-wide commitments have raised the bar for entire industries, the report details. When the early childhood education sector came together through PHA in 2011, more than 1 million children’s lives were improved through the reduction of sugar-sweetened beverages, increased servings of fruits and vegetables and increased physical activity opportunities at childcare facilities.

“The power and influence of the business sector can and must be harnessed for public good if we are going to reverse the obesity epidemic,” said Dr. William H. Dietz, Chair, Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, PHA board member and one of the report’s authors. “These achievements are impressive, meaningful, and impactful, yet they are not enough. Public health, business, government, and consumers will need to continue this momentum and take it further still.”

Besides Dr. Dietz, other authors of the report were Caitlin Simon, MPP (corresponding), PHA, and S. Lawrence Kocot, Principal and National Leader, Center for Healthcare Regulatory Insight, KPMG and a PHA board member.

“Working with the private sector to support the vast public health needs of this country has been very fulfilling. PHA values the verification of our private sector commitments – it’s not always easy but it’s worth it,” said Simon.

Read the full report here.

Read a related Huffington Post blog from Dr. Dietz here.

For more information about PHA, please visit aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.

For more information about the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University, please visit go.gwu.edu/redstonecenter and follow on Twitter @RedstoneGWSPH.

Media Contact at PHA: Blythe Thomas, blthomas@ahealthieramerica.org; (202) 864-6053

Media Contact at George Washington University: Sarah Baldauf; sbaldauf@gwu.edu; (202) 994-1277