Obesity Innovations, Partnership for a Healthier America

Obesity Innovations, Partnership for a Healthier America

January 21, 2013

Good ideas can come from anywhere and that’s just what the Partnership for a Healthier America’s End Childhood Obesity Innovation Challenge is about. The Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA) is devoted to working with the private sector to ensure the health of our nation’s youth by solving the childhood obesity crisis. PHA brings together public, private and nonprofit leaders to create meaningful commitments and develop strategies to end childhood obesity. The Innovation Challenge set out to find creative ways to end the obesity epidemic, and here is a roundup of the 10 semifinalists in alphabetical order.

1. Aurri Health Network is an online incentive-based system that encourages young people to live healthier by making primary prevention both fun and rewarding.  Aurri brings together community groups, fitness and recreation centers, healthcare providers, and local governments to identify and develop the resources and safe places for young people to get and stay active. By getting active, kids earn points on the Aurri online network. Points can be redeemed for healthy prizes, like a football, a bike, or a chance to go rock climbing.

2. Define Bottle is a really cool looking fruit-infused water bottle to take on the go.  The goal is to improve the health of children one drink at a time by providing the tools for a sustainable alternative to juice, soda and other sugary drinks that have led to the childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemic.  Add fresh fruit into the bottom chamber of define bottle and fill it with water and you have naturally flavored water. 

3. FitNFlash is a flash card system that incorporates physical activity with a learning activity; exercise with your brain. The teacher simply holds a physical activity card and a learning card up, and then watches the activity and learning begin!  FitNFlash helps fight childhood obesity by providing more opportunity for physical activity at times that are typically spent in sedentary learning.

4. Short Chef is a program that educates children about the benefits of eating healthy through three tactics: 1. an interactive hub (website and app) 2. the Iron Short Chef program, and 3. a PSA series that reaches children while viewing television.

5. KiDSMARATHON is a school-based action-program delivering a sustainable “three-legged stool” approach to child health: healthy eating, physical activity, and nutrition education.  Fun, non-competitive student engagement delivers a natural tie-in to new USDA school-nutrition standards, including state-supported farm-to-school initiatives.  Enabled by coordinated school-health-wellness policies, students, school staff, families and community organizations can find their respective roles in building a healthier community.

6. Move with Me produces affordable, easy to use, totally fun, developmentally appropriate video enrichment classes taught by experts, starting with early childhood and then expanding to elementary school. Video classes work universally as healthy, educational playtime - at home, individually, and at school, in groups.  They can be designed to serve diverse populations and specific needs. 

7. JiveHealth is developing an app, designed to encourage kids to form better eating habits by making healthy eating a part of game play. Users feed their avatar by taking pictures of the food they eat in the real world, which in turn gives the avatar the power to build buildings, collect wild creatures, and expand his kingdom in the game world. The goal is to encourage healthier alternatives that kids love to eat, and will continue to eat for the rest of their lives.

8. SWEET ENUFF iscreating a ‘New Culture of Health.’ An 8-week program of hip-hop dance, fitness, health, and wellness-coaching program for kids. Kids discuss the obesity epidemic and what they see as the solution.  Kids and parents are given practical tools and exercises including the challenge of getting one hour per day of physical activity. The Wellness Project culminates with a performance.  Kids show off not only their dancing skills but THEIR solutions to ending the obesity epidemic.

9. Tri 4 Schools helps fight childhood obesity by teaching kids the benefit of participating in swimming, biking, and running. The program offers scholarships, free bikes, running shoes, and helmets, and provides free shuttles to events to help reduce the barriers to entry.  Tri 4 Schools, receives help from generous businesses to offset race costs so that 100% of our entry fees go back to schools.

10. World Fit Walk has an educational focus on nutrition, functional fitness, support groups, incentives, and making the activities accessible. The program is structured program to elicit a “buy-in” by having kids write goals, complete with action steps (can select from a list of ideas based on age if needed), choose activities, etc.

Three finalists will be invited to the Summit and pitch the attendees and a judges panel. PSA is offering $10,000 and nearly 50 hours of expert support from management consultants, messaging experts and entrepreneurs to help turn the winning idea into a reality.

To find out more and to place your vote, click here.