The Childhood Obesity Coalition was started in October 2008 led by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. Since then, the Coalition has grown to include more than 50 community agencies and organizations represented by over 130 individuals. In Spring 2018, the University of Tennessee’s Department of Nutrition, under leadership from the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Nutrition Leadership and Education Program faculty, Drs. Marsha Spence and Betsy Anderson Steeves, and funded trainees in the program, took over facilitation of the coalition; and it was renamed the East Tennessee Childhood Obesity Coalition (ETCOC).
The Coalition’s mission is to prevent and reduce childhood obesity by promoting healthy, active lifestyles through family, community and interprofessional collaborations. Our vision: All children in East Tennessee have access to nourishing foods, opportunities for physical activity, and community resources to support healthy weight. ETCOC’s overall goal is to facilitate collaborations that maximize funding to reduce childhood obesity in East Tennessee.
The Coalition’s work is undertaken by three committees: Policy, Assessment and Outreach. We invite you or your organization to join a committee or participate in a variety of other ways. Working together we can improve the health of children and families.
Our three committees are currently working on following goals and objectives supporting ETCOC’s overall mission and vision:
- Policy Committee
- Goal: Facilitate collaborations that maximize policies to reduce childhood obesity in East Tennessee
- By August 2021, send a letter to x (number TBD) organizations, policy groups and government entities and officials to promote awareness and partnerships with the ETCOC policy committee.
- By December 2021, the ETCOC policy committee will partner with existing groups and identify at least one major policy effort to focus on in the following year.
- Assessment Committee
- Goal: Provide a comprehensive assessment of healthy food access, physical activity opportunities, and community resources/programs to help prevent & reduce childhood obesity
- By August 2021, an online parent/community toolkit including assessment results and resource lists will be available to all stakeholders and parents.
- Outreach Committee
- Goal: Work together to leverage resources for a more robust outreach
- By December 30, 2021, the ETCOC Outreach Committee will provide technical support and/or guidance to community partners seeking funding to provide promising practice-based outreach
- Provide a repository for evidence-based obesity interventions (similar to the Community Guide, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention: Solving the Weight of the Nation, and the Children in Nature Network) as guiding documents on the website to refer people to.