Pledging Support: Growing Up at a Healthy Weight Requires a National Movement

American Heart Association Comments on RWJF New Vision to Create a Culture of Health

February 05, 2015 Categories: Advisories & Comments

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation today announced it will commit $500 million over the next ten years to expand efforts to ensure that all children in the United States―no matter who they are or where they live―can grow up at a healthy weight.  This builds on the $500 million commitment they made in 2007 to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic. Giving every child the opportunity to grow up at a healthy weight is fundamental to building a strong and inclusive Culture of Health, and will put our kids on course to live a long, healthy life.  The American Heart Association is honored to partner with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. We believe that these strategies will help ensure all children have the greatest opportunity to live, learn and play in healthier environments. Our organizations are fortunate to have a decades-long partnership in devoting resources that align to advance research, shift individual behaviors and social norms, and advocate for change so that all people can live healthier lives.

As we work to advance strategies to improve heart health, policy advocacy will be a key driving force that determines our success. Simply put – access to affordable and healthy foods, safe and convenient places to be physically active, clean indoor air, and high-quality and affordable healthcare should be everyone’s right – not privilege. All of these factors not only protect our hearts as we get older, but they help mothers have healthy babies that grow up in healthy communities. Ensuring access to these fundamental health factors is the foundation to achieving health equity and fully realizing a culture of health.