Initiative for a Healthy Weight
The mission of IHW is to prevent and address overweight and obesity. We work with partners to improve the social, political, and physical environment to make healthy eating and active living easier choices for all residents. IHW will lead the state in achieving the objectives in Eat Smart Move More RI: A Plan for Action 2010-2015.
2012 Accomplishments and Milestones
- Launched a campaign to empower parents to reduce their child's consumption of sugar sweetened beverages which reached 85% of the target population through TV and 98% through radio.
- In partnership with other state agencies and community partners, recieved a national award from First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign for having the highest percentage of childcare providers enrolled in Let's Move Child Care.
- Implemented a Department-wide policy to improve the quality of the food and beverages served at HEALTH run or sponsored meetings and events.
- Assisted 3 municipalities with identifying ways to improve their comprehensive plans to better support healthy eating and active living.
Since 2000, preventing obesity and related chronic diseases has been a priority for the Rhode Island Department of Health. Rhode Island was one of the first six states to receive funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop a coordinated obesity prevention infrastructure. The Department of Health started the Initiative for a Healthy Weight (IHW) program to lead the state in making it easier for Rhode Islanders to eat well and Move More.
What We Do
Build nutrition and physical activity “infrastructure” to better address obesity prevention in Rhode Island
By building infrastructure, our staff and our partners’ expertise and resources is used to implement statewide nutrition and physical activity policies and interventions. We do this by providing training to our partners and sharing best practices, improving communication and building partnerships around obesity prevention, and developing action plans with our partners to address obesity in a coordinated way.
Implement policy, systems, and environmental changes that make eating well and being active easier for all Rhode Islanders
We believe, and research shows, that behavior change is more likely to take place and continue when the environment makes it easier for people to make the healthy choice. We develop and manage specific, evidence-based programs and initiatives with the goals of increasing physical activity and improving nutrition by changing the policies, systems, or environments that prevent people from making better choices.
Analyze and track obesity-related data
We track and share obesity, physical activity, and nutrition trends in the state and make recommendations for programs and policies that will improve these trends. We produce reports on the state of obesity and related risk factors, as well as reports on obesity prevention efforts in Rhode Island.
- Position the Department of Health and key partners in a leadership role for statewide obesity prevention efforts.
- Convene and lead a planning process to revise the State Plan and prioritize activities annually.
- Increase the number, reach, and quality of policies and standards that support healthy eating and active living.
- Increase access to and use of environments that support healthy eating and active living.
- Increase the number, reach, and quality of social and behavioral approaches that compliment policy and environmental strategies to promote healthy eating and active living.
- Enhance surveillance to monitor obesity and key behavioral and environmental risk factors. (report on obesity health risks)
- Evaluate progress towards meeting program and State Plan objectives.
- Share success stories and lessons learned