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$5M to Fight Childhood Obesity

January 25th, 2011

Oregon State University receives nearly $5 million federal grant to fight childhood obesity

Published: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 1:16 PM     Updated: Thursday, January 13, 2011, 5:37 PM

By Melissa Navas, The Oregonian

 Targeting obesity among rural Oregon children is the focus of a nearly $5 million federal grant awarded to Oregon State University.

The award, which was announced on campus Thursday morning, will allow for community-based research to assess what promotes and prevents obesity in rural communities and what resources could allow for prevention. It was awarded through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, part of the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

OSU Extension Service, an educational outreach arm of the university, received $4.8 million to start the project called “Generating Rural Options for Weight-Healthy Kids and Communities.” The extension program in Oregon and six other Western states will develop obesity prevention plans and conduct field tests in rural communities in Clackamas, Columbia and Klamath counties starting in September 2012. The goal is to improve body mass index among rural children ages 5 to 8.

While childhood obesity is a nationwide problem, children in rural areas have limited access to fresh, healthy foods, physical activity and recreational programs that help prevent obesity, said Roger Beachy, director of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, who attended the press conference.


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