In many communities, the prevalence of childhood obesity has reached crisis proportions. NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital took action through the Choosing Healthy & Active Lifestyles for Kids (CHALK) program. In Washington Heights/Inwood and Harlem, the program facilitates community-wide culture and behavior change, rather than just focusing on individuals who are already overweight. This approach avoids stigmatizing kids and promotes life-long healthy habits for the whole community. The program delivers consistent messages on "ten healthy habits" in elementary schools, in pediatrician's offices, and throughout the community.
The CHALK program has grown to include 15 schools, brought farmers' markets to the community, and recruited partners in local businesses to participate in the promotion of healthy lifestyles.