CLOCC’s 15th Anniversary
Childhood Obesity Prevention
Hall of Fame

Since the founding of the Consortium to Lower Obesity in Chicago Children, significant advancements have been made in what we know about childhood obesity and the most effective strategies for preventing it.

To commemorate the Consortium’s first 15 years, CLOCC partners submitted their choices for the people, policies, scientific discoveries, reports, events that have had significant influence on how we think and what we do about the obesity epidemic. From those submissions, CLOCC curated the 15th Anniversary Childhood Obesity Hall of Fame, which was announced at the Consortium’s Quarterly Meeting on December 7th, 2017.   


I. 2001 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent and Decrease Overweight and Obesity

  • Acknowledged that “overweight and obesity rates have reached nationwide epidemic proportions”
  • Established five principles:
    • Promote recognition of obesity as a public health problem
    • Assist Americans in balancing healthful eating with regular physical activity
    • Identify effective and culturally appropriate interventions to prevent and treat
    • Encourage environmental changes
    • Develop and enhance public-private partnerships

II. CDC Publishes and Disseminates Decades of Obesity Maps

  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gathers data from BRFSS to assess yearly changes in adult obesity rates, state-by-state
  • CDC releases maps in PowerPoint format to allow presenters across the nation to illustrate the meteoric rise in obesity rates from the mid 1980s through the late 2010s


III. New England Journal of Medicine Article, “A Potential Decline in Life Expectancy in the United States in the 21st Century”

  • Article sounds the alarm – this generation of children likely to be the first to have shorter life expectancy than preceding generation
  • Specifically names effects of obesity epidemic as the cause


IV. Illinois Childhood Obesity Consensus Agenda

  • 80+ organizations, convened through CLOCC
  • Developed five bills
    • IL Food Policy Council (passed)
    • Safe Routes to School (passed)
    • Expanding public comment period for PE waivers (passed)
    • Early Learning Council to collaborate with Interagency Nutrition Council (passed)
    • Appropriate $3M to the Illinois Obesity Study and Prevention Fund (passed)


V. CLOCC and CDPH Release Student BMI Data
at Two Points in Time

  • CLOCC Research Support Working Group and Maryann Mason conduct first-ever childhood obesity prevalence study in Chicago; find alarming 24% of children enter school (CPS, Archdiocese) obese CDPH and CPS collaborate on follow-up study in 2013, mapping 2010-11 student data; find rate has declined to 20%
    • Also finds rates to be highest in majority Hispanic neighborhoods
    • With African American neighborhoods close behind


VI. RWJF Commits to Invest $500M over 5 years 
to Curb the Childhood Obesity Epidemic (2007 – 2012)

  • Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities
    • Chicago one of 9 Lead Communities
  • Healthy Eating Research
    • Major focus on healthy food retail, childcare, government food assistance programs, food marketing
  • Active Living Research
  • Salud America!
  • Communities Creating Healthy Environments
  • Galvanizing Faith Communities
  • Voices for Healthy Kids


VII. Trust For America’s Health Begins Publishing State of Obesity Reports

  • Yearly reports & State-by-state prevalence for adults and children
  • Evidence-based and best practice policy approaches highlighted


VIII. CDC Initiates and Funds Communities Putting Prevention to Work

  • 50 communities awarded total of $403M to implement environment-level interventions aimed at preventing and reducing obesity, physical inactivity, tobacco use, and exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Cook County and Chicago receive funding for both tobacco and obesity
  • CLOCC manages Healthy Places; $5.8M over two years; more than 10 citywide agencies receive support for PSE changes, $80K to 10 neighborhoods for walkability, healthy corner stores, healthy school environments, and breastfeeding support


IX. First Lady Michelle Obama launches “Let’s Move” Campaign

  • Improved the school food environment (through Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act)
  • Modernized FDA Nutrition Facts Label
  • Launched USDA’s MyPlate
  • Let’s Move! Salad Bars to Schools
    • 3M students got access to salad bars
  • Let’s Move!: Active Schools, Outside, Childcare
  • Founded Partnership for a Healthier America – 225 corporate commitments helping the private sector “make the healthy choice the easy choice”


X. President Obama Advances and Congress Passes
“Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010”

  • Local School Wellness Policy Implementation
  • National School Lunch Program and School Breakfast Program: Nutrition Standards for All Foods Sold in School; additional $.06 per compliant meal
  • Professional Standards for School Nutrition Programs Personnel as Required by the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010
  • Eliminating Individual School Meal Applications Through Community Eligibility Under the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010
  • School Food Service Account Revenue Amendments (Paid Lunch Equity)


XI. City of Chicago Inter-Departmental Task Force
Advances Childcare Regulations

  • IDTF: 11 city agencies focusing on government approaches to childhood obesity prevention
  • CDPH, DFSS develop childcare regulations to improve nutrition, physical activity, and screen time
  • CLOCC, Eriksen Institute, IL Action for Children conduct studies to show training is needed and effective, recommendations can be followed successfully
  • IL Early Learning Council advances licensing requirements through IL DCFS


XII. HBO’s “Weight of the Nation”

  • 8-Hour Documentary presents the problem of obesity, its multi-level causes, and important, evidence-based solutions
  • Heavy focus on policy, systems, and environmental change
  • HBO promotes community screenings across the country; including Chicago (hosted by CLOCC, CDPH, Comcast)
  • Communities of color across U.S. are featured
  • Several CLOCC EAB members interviewed


XIII. Institute of Medicine Roundtables Publish
Obesity Prevention Reports in 2005, 2012

  • IOM convenes series of roundtables, resulting in multiple reports
  • Keeps nation’s scientific community focused on obesity and its solutions
  • “Accelerating Progress” provides foundation for CLOCC Blueprint
  • Report on early childhood sets the stage for 0-5 focus and PSE change in childcare


XIV. CLOCC Publishes “Blueprint for Accelerating Childhood Obesity Prevention in Chicago”

  • CLOCC staff, External Advisory Board, Executive Committee members, and QM participants draw from IOM reports and other expert documents
  • 17 goals, 47 objectives, many example strategies in six focus areas: food access, physical activity and built environment, schools, early childhood, corporate sector and industry practices, health promotion and public education
  • Forms the basis for CLOCC interest group work, policy priorities, and Healthy Chicago plans


XV. Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Taxes

  • Taxes begin to pass
    • Mexico passes its tax in 2014
    • Berkeley, Oakland, San Francisco, Albany in California
    • Boulder, CO
    • Philadelphia, PA
    • Cook County (later repealed)
  • Raises the national dialogue about the harmful effects of sugar in beverages
  • National polling shows majority support taxes when revenue goes to obesity prevention or social programs (early childhood education in Philly)