Obesity Innovations, Partnership for a Healthier America

February 06, 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. Find out about the 10 semifinalists here.

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; 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: 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: 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. Fun Nutrition: a 3-tactic program that educates children about the benefits of eating healthy. 1. an interactive hub (website and app) 2. ties schools directly with the Iron Short Chef program.  Our schools today teach physical education but loose site that healthy eating education is just as essential.  3. a PSA series that reach children while viewing television.

5. Healthy Connections for “Human Conservation”:  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. Health videos for kids: the goal is to produce affordable, easy to use, totally fun, developmentally appropriate video enrichment classes taught by experts, starting with early childhood and then expand 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 Wellness Project: create 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 help 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. Educational focus on nutrition, functional fitness, support groups, incentives, making the activities accessible. Success is built on ownership - structuring the program to elicit a “buy-in” have kids write goals, complete with action steps (can select from a list of ideas based on age if needed), choose activities, make up 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