Dr. Bill Saunders and Dr. Beth Racine present results from a childhood obesity project at the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce

Categories: Uncategorized

As part of the “State of the Region Healthcare Summit 2014” sponsored by the Cabarrus Regional Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Saunders and Dr. Racine presented “Childhood Obesity & Wellness Research” to business leaders in Cabarrus County (click here for newspaper article). Their recently completed Action Plan developed for Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast (CMC-NE) identified five high-priority areas for intervention:

  • Integrate more Health/Physical Education and Nutrition Education throughout K-12;
  • Develop messages around the benefits of healthy eating & being physically active;
  • Implement parent, caregiver and healthcare provider education and other interventions in the areas of nutrition and physical activity;
  • Expand greenways and increase accessibility to parks; and
  • Implement/expand policies that incentivize a decrease in the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.

To target these priority areas, a long-term Implementation Team of 10-15 community stakeholders will work to identify potential funders, write grants, educate the community and policy makers, and oversee the implementation of the initiatives.

In addition, Dr. Saunders and Dr. Racine discussed our current research project titled “Building Healthy Lifestyles in All Directions,” a multicomponent intervention in Cabarrus County child care centers. This project includes the implementation of Healthy Futures Starting in the Kitchen ( a culinary training for cooks and administrators), Color Me Healthy ( a nutrition and physical activity education for children), and NAP-SACC, Nutrition and Physical Activity Self-Assessment for Child Care, designed to help child care centers assess their environment and set goals to improve nutrition and/or physical activity. Measures of change include monitoring child weight status, measuring change in nutrition and physical activity knowledge of child care center staff, and monitoring the change in foods served.

Next steps for Drs. Saunders and Racine include continuing to pursue funding & sponsors, working with the Cabarrus County Implementation Team, and continuing to work with the Mecklenburg County Childhood Obesity Coalition.