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Childhood Obesity

There are many ways to prevent obesity in children including teaching children healthy lifestyle habits – including healthy eating and physical activity – and implementing policies and practices that support healthy behaviors.

The Department of Health (DOH) supports activities to prevent childhood obesity through the Child & Youth Healthy Eating Active Living to Prevent and Reduce Obesity Program. The Program identifies and implements policies and strategy initiatives in various settings (such as schools, communities, health delivery systems) to promote healthy eating and active living for children, youth, and families -  with an emphasis on city wards where the obesity rates are highest (Wards 5, 7, and 8). The Program also coordinates activities with other healthy eating/active living initiatives within DOH to prevent and reduce obesity and diabetes.

Below are a few of the initiatives supported through the Child & Youth Healthy Eating Active Living to Prevent and Reduce Obesity Program:

  • Instant Recess® is a pilot program in select DC schools, bringing ten-minutes of fun, organized physical activity into classrooms throughout the week. This Pilot is being implemented by DOH together with the National Children’s Obesity Institute.  Visit www.InstantRecess.org for more information.
  • Park Prescription Program and the Park Ambassadors Program encourage greater use of parks and safe outdoor play in collaboration with Healthy Kids-Healthy Communities and DOH‘s Nutrition and Physical Fitness Bureau.
  • DC Fresh Mobile Cart Pilot Program promotes increased access to fresh fruit and vegetables in Wards 5, 7, and 8.
  • Working with the Department of Health Care Finance/Medicaid office to improve access to health care services that may prevent and/or reduce child obesity and diabetes.       
  • DOH has been part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) collaborative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  Now in its fourth year, HKHC aims to reduce, stem or mitigate child obesity through policies that promote healthy eating and active living policies.  HKHC is led by SHIRE, Summit Health Institute for Research and Education. For more information, please visit the HKHC webpage.

Related Resources:

Visit www.LetsMove.gov for information on child obesity spearheaded by First Lady Michelle Obama.

More childhood obesity information:

Helpful Links


Service Contact: 
Department of Health/Community Health Administration
Contact Email: 
Contact Phone: 
(202) 442-5925
Contact Fax: 
(202) 442-4947
Contact TTY: 
Contact Suite #: 
3rd Floor
Office Hours: 
Monday thru Friday 9 am to 5 pm
Service Location: 

Health, Department of

GIS Address: 
899 North Capitol Street, NE