Childhood obesity has more than doubled among children and tripled among adolescents in the past 30 years. In 2010, more than one-third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese. Altarum Institute is committed to enabling better health for all people and strives to build relationships with partners that share our mission and vision, such as the Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). Since July 2012, Altarum has served as the lead third-party verifier for commitments made to PHA on preventing childhood obesity. PHA is a nonprofit organization, founded in 2010, devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis; bringing together public, private, and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments; and developing viable strategies.

Childhood obesity has both short- and long-term health effects, including an increased potential for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, and social and psychological problems such as stigmatization and poor self-esteem. The health and activity of children and adolescents are influenced by many parts of society, including families, communities, schools, child care, medical care providers, government, the media, and businesses. Commitments made by PHA partners to date have focused on bringing about a wide range of changes to prevent childhood obesity, including

  • Establishing grocery stores in underserved locations;
  • Improving healthy eating options at restaurants, hotels, and hospitals;
  • Improving nutrition and physical activity policies and practices in early childhood and afterschool settings; and
  • Increasing physical activity in communities.

PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties, such as Altarum, to monitor and publicly report on the progress partners are making to show everyone what can be achieved when they work together. On March 6, 2013, PHA published an annual report of its partners’ progress toward meeting their commitments. This report was highlighted at PHA’s second annual Building a Healthier Future Summit, held in Washington, DC. It features many of the data that Altarum has gathered and verified through our work as PHA’s independent verifier. It also highlights the overall successes of PHA’s work with the private sector. To review a copy of the report, click here.

Altarum has more than 25 years of experience in providing evaluation services to clients at the national, state, and local levels. This project is specifically housed within Altarum’s Center for Healthy Child and Youth Development (CHCYD), an internally chartered research center dedicated to developing and implementing initiatives that evaluate, research, and assist efforts to improve child, family, and systems outcomes related to healthy child and youth development. In addition to serving as third-party verifier for PHA, CHCYD also played a leadership role in PHA’s inaugural Building a Healthier Future Summit in November 2011 by hosting the early childhood track.

About the Center for Healthy Child and Youth Development
Altarum’s Center for Healthy Child and Youth Development aims to serve as a catalyst in promoting progress in healthy child development by operating simultaneously as a research center, technical assistance provider, policy advocate, and partner to organizations with similar goals. The Center makes strategic investments in partnerships and projects to examine, demonstrate, and support efforts designed to promote healthy children and youth.

About The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA)
PHA is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. In 2010, PHA was created in conjunction with (but independent from) First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! effort. PHA is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization led by some of the nation’s most respected health and childhood obesity experts. PHA brings together public, private, and nonprofit leaders to broker meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. Most important, PHA ensures that commitments made are commitments kept by working with unbiased third parties to monitor and publicly report on the progress our partners are making. For more information about PHA, please visit www.aHealthierAmerica.org and follow PHA on Twitter @PHAnews.