Champions grants helped kick start youth nutrition and fitness programs in low income communities across the country.
- Champions grants created funding opportunities for grassroots groups who were not likely to receive funding elsewhere.
- Commitment of teachers was linked to an organization’s likelihood to receive awards for their work.
- Youth commitment was linked to an organization’s willingness to start new partnerships.
Champions grants increased physical activity, raised awareness around the importance of physical activity and nutrition and increased the knowledge for elementary and pre-teen youth of the importance of physical activity and nutrition.
- The greatest behavior change was in physical activity especially among African American youth.
- Both physical activity and nutrition awareness increased on important issues like the importance of eating fruits and vegetables and the benefits of increased physical activity.
- Both physical activity and nutrition knowledge increased on how to prepare healthy cultural dishes, how fruits and vegetables are grown, how to use a pedometer to monitor activity and why changing old habits is important.
- Improved attitudes toward healthier lifestyle were observed as participants were more willing to try new foods and activities.
Champions seed money drove community partnerships and grassroots organizations leveraged seed dollars to sustain programs.
- Nearly 80% of project activities and resources continued to be used.
- Almost 1/3 of projects implemented and sustained changes in policies related to childhood overweight and obesity.
- Teachers and other community professionals were key collaborators whose commitment made big differences.
- Engagement of youth in planning process was key to implementing a successful program.
- The Registered Dietitian had great impacts on knowledge and awareness of nutrition and physical activity especially among organizations with limited budget and experience in childhood obesity programming.