Press coverage of the Study of Technology to Accelerate Research (STAR).

AJPM Announces Winners of Third Childhood Obesity Challenge

Familias Activas y Saludables wins round focused on clinic-based solutions

San Diego, Calif., May 15, 2013–The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) is pleased to announce Familias Activas y Saludables as the winner of Round 3 of the Childhood Obesity Challenge, an online competition for innovative ideas to combat the childhood obesity epidemic.

The third round of the competition focused on interventions for children and their families delivered in clinical settings or involving partnerships between clinics and communities. The competition received 25 entries.

The winning entry, also known as Active and Healthy Families, is a program of Contra Costa County (Calif.) Health Services providing group medical visits for obese and overweight Latino children 5-11 years old seen at federally qualified health centers. In the interactive sessions, a health care team -- consisting of a doctor, a nutritionist, and a promotora (community health worker) -- discuss nutrition, physical activity and stress with the children and their families and help them develop weight loss action plans. A small randomized study showed the program resulted in modest weight loss among children attending 5 sessions.

As the winner of the competition, Familias Activas y Saludables will be featured in an upcoming issue of AJPM and the submitting team, coordinated by Judy Sundquist, special projects consultant for Contra Costa Health Services, and including Annabelle Cadiz, Michelle Williams, and Alan Siegel, will receive $5,000.

“We know that health care providers can have significant impact on their patients’ behavior, but we need more tools that make it easier for them to address obesity in the often time- and resource-challenged settings in which they practice,” said Jill Waalen, Deputy Editor of AJPM. “The winners of this Round of the Challenge represent the types of programs that go beyond the traditional clinical model to help maximize health care providers’ impact on this epidemic.”

Second place in the competition went to Duke Healthy Lifestyles Clinic, submitted by Julia Wacker and Sarah Armstrong of Duke University. Winner of third place was STAR (Study of Technology to Accelerate Research) submitted by Christine Horan, Sarah Price, and collaborators at Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute.

The AJPM Childhood Obesity Challenge is supported by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), which is working to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States by 2015. AJPM is working with the Foundation’s Pioneer Portfolio to complement those efforts by conducting the Childhood Obesity Challenge.

“By allowing AJPM to recognize projects and ideas that are not well-captured by the traditional manuscript format, we hope the Challenge will help accelerate the process of finding effective solutions to childhood obesity,” Waalen said. “We look forward to the continued use of crowd-sourcing as a way to expand the medical publishing model.”

The 3rd round marks the end of AJPM’s current series of the Childhood Obesity Challenge.

About the American Journal of Preventive Medicine: The American Journal of Preventive Medicine is the official journal of the American College of Preventive Medicine and the Association for Prevention Teaching and Research. It publishes articles in the areas of prevention research, teaching, practice and policy. Original research is published on interventions aimed at the prevention of chronic and acute disease and the promotion of individual and community health. Of particular emphasis are papers that address the primary and secondary prevention of important clinical, behavioral and public health issues such as injury and violence, infectious disease, women's health, smoking, sedentary behaviors and physical activity, nutrition, diabetes, obesity, and alcohol and drug abuse. Papers also address educational initiatives aimed at improving the ability of health professionals to provide effective clinical prevention and public health services. Papers on health services research pertinent to prevention and public health are also published. The journal also publishes official policy statements from the two co-sponsoring organizations, review articles, media reviews, and editorials. Finally, the journal periodically publishes supplements and special theme issues devoted to areas of current interest to the prevention community.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful, and timely change. For 40 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. Follow the Foundation on Twitter or Facebook,