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Healthy Habits for Hampton Roads

Faith-Based Advocacy

Collaborations across faith communities have a rich history of working together for social change. Faith-based coalitions successfully have advanced policies that improve the health and wellness of communities. They have been at the forefront of local and state efforts on social issues such as homelessness, tobacco use, hunger and poverty. Today, there is emerging energy among faith-based coalitions to advocate for improved food, nutrition and environmental policies.

Working in partnership with the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, the WHRO Center for Regional Citizenship has been engaged in an organizing campaign in the Western Tidewater region of of Hampton Roads to build capacity among faith-based organizations to address childhood obesity and to gain ground-level community insight and understanding of the issues involved.

Healthy Kids in Hampton Roads: Galvanizing Communities to End Childhood Obesity [PDF] reflects two years of organizing in Western Tidewater to advance policies and environmental changes that aim to improve the availability of affordable healthy foods and access to safe places for children to play, with an emphasis on reaching those children who are at highest risk for obesity. This work could not have been possible without the dedication and drive of the faith community within the Western Tidewater region. The continued efforts of Western Tidewater and of faith communities across the nation will help to give our children the brightest and healthiest future possible.

Support for this work was provided by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Watch "Faith Communities Combat Childhood Obesity"

Watch "Presentation on Childhood Obesity by Donald Lewis, MD, Chair of pediatrics for Eastern Virginia Medical School and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.