New Jump IN partnership report offers first-ever local, annual childhood obesity trends

Though childhood obesity is a critical public health indicator, communities across the US struggle to secure local childhood obesity data to monitor the problem and inform action.

Jump IN for Healthy Kids has championed the effort to obtain this critical information for central Indiana since 2014. We’ve convened expert technical partners several times to assess evidence and supported a 2018 study that tested electronic health records as a source for estimating child obesity prevalence.

On the strength of this diligent work, the Indiana Department of Health awarded Jump IN a grant that funded this milestone new report.  For the first time, researchers are able to provide consistent, regular, annual childhood obesity estimates for Marion County and the central Indiana region from 2014 through 2022. The team from IU Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and Regenstrief Institute queried hundreds of thousands of de-identified data records from the Indiana Health Information Exchange to produce annual childhood obesity prevalence estimates and time trends never before available at the local and regional level. By also fielding annual updates over the next three years, this project will demonstrate how Indiana’s leadership in health information can make public health information accessible, practical, and feasible, for local communities.

Like Jump IN, community stakeholders can use these new child obesity results to understand where and how kids and families may struggle to access healthy foods every day and easily engage in the movement and physical activity their bodies must have to thrive. Jump IN will work with partners throughout central Indiana to use these data to develop the comprehensive, community-wide, multi-sector efforts that research shows help families lead healthier lives at healthier weight. The findings in this report can be used to strengthen grant proposals, project planning, community needs assessments, and policy change that promote the educational, workforce, and economic benefits of public health, and a healthy public.


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