Georgia Shape Receives National Recognition for Childhood Obesity Efforts

March 2, 2015

Since Georgia Shape launched in 2011, the initiative has made daily physical activity and good nutrition a staple for youth across the state. While Georgia Shape continues to gain support from educators and health professionals in our state, it is now earning national acclaim for its school-based physical activity programming and childhood obesity prevention model.

The state of Georgia recently earned a commendation from the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition for being first state in the nation to implement the Presidential Youth Fitness Program through Georgia Shape. Additionally, the initiative earned an Emerging Practice award from the Association of Maternal Child Health Programs (AMCHP) and a Bright Ideas in Government award from Harvard University’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

Each award recognizes the initiative’s success in building a sustainable physical activity model that benefits the health and wellness of students while enhancing the educational goals of school leaders and educators.

“Georgia Shape and our many partners share a passion for fostering a culture of health among Georgia’s youth,” said Emily Anne Vall, Ph.D., Georgia Shape project manager. “Childhood obesity has become one of the leading pediatric health issues of our generation and we are excited to see our initiative being recognized for the work that has been done statewide to improve the health of Georgia’s youth.”

The Presidential Youth Fitness Program is a comprehensive school-based program that promotes health and regular physical activity for America’s youth. This is a voluntary program that offers educators free access to a health-related assessment for youth fitness, professional development for meaningful implementation, and motivational recognition to help students to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle.

AMCHP is a national resource, partner and advocate for state public health leaders and others working to improve the health of women, children, youth and families, including those with special health care needs. The Emerging Practice award recognizes programs that have been extensively evaluated and proven to improve the health of these populations through innovative policies and initiatives.

The Bright Ideas award is a component of the Ash Center’s Innovations in American Government awards competition which honors government programs that improve the quality of life for citizens. Through its Bright Ideas program, noteworthy programs are shared with government officials, public servants and other community leaders throughout the United States to help them learn how to adopt similar policies and programs in their own communities.

“We pride ourselves on creating relationships with diverse partners that help us break down barriers and create meaningful, expert driven work,” said Vall. “It is inspiring to see our strategy and approach being studied and replicated in communities across the nation. This recognition validates our hard work and demonstrates that the strategy behind Georgia Shape can make a widespread positive impact on the health and wellness of children nationwide.”

To learn more about Georgia Shape, its partners and participating schools, visit www.GeorgiaShape.org

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