Food, Activity & Nutrition Initiatives

Why childhood obesity needs our attention

Lack of access to nutritious food and safe opportunities to be physically active can contribute to health challenges, including those related to obesity in childhood. Youth with higher than recommended rates of weight gain are at higher risk for Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Childhood obesity  can also take an emotional and social toll, leading to sleep disorders, anxiety, depression and low-self-esteem. In Chicago, over a third of children and teens are obese or overweight.

What Lurie Children's is doing to address food insecurity and improve physical activity

At Lurie Children’s, we recognize that helping children to achieve healthy weights means attending to the social, environmental and economic conditions that influence families’ abilities to consume a nutritious diet and be physically active. Through our Food, Activity and Nutrition (FAN) initiatives (formerly the Consortium to Lower Childhood Obesity in Chicago [CLOCC]), we collaborate with key partners on local, state-wide and national levels to help ensure that supports for healthy eating and being physically active are always within reach for youth and their families where they live, learn, and play.

Supported by decades of research, FAN takes a social ecological approach to improving access to nutrition foods and physical activity opportunities. We work to address some of the key barriers to health and wellness by collaborating with local, state-wide, and national partners to:

  • Support the emergency food and food retail environments
  • Make walking and biking easier and safer in our neighborhoods
  • Provide clear and accurate nutrition and lifestyle recommendations to caregivers
  • Ensure healthy eating and physical activity are incorporated into school settings
  • Advocate for health-supporting institutional and public policies

Our Policy Agenda

We work with city and state government agencies to ensure that efforts to prevent obesity are evidence-based and effective. 

Our Policy Agenda

Health Promotion & Public Education

Educating our communities to make informed and healthy lifestyle choices is a key part of our strategy to prevent obesity.

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Food Access & Nutrition Security

Access to nutritious foods is an essential component to good health. Lurie Children’s provides leadership for West Side United’s (WSU) Healthy Food Strategy Working Group and Food Pantry Support Initiative.

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Physical Activity & Neighborhood Walkability

Physical activity is essential to staying healthy, but barriers to exercise are more present in Chicago communities with higher rates of childhood obesity.

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