Round 3 of Childhood Obesity Challenge Announced
On February 19th, Round 3 of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine Childhood Obesity Challenge launched. The Challenge is an online competition for innovative ideas to combat the childhood obesity epidemic, especially approaches that might not fit the scientific publishing model. The AJPM is encouraging proposed solutions to childhood obesity emerging not only from academia, but sectors such as industry, small businesses, social entrepreneurs, and media providers.
In addition to a $5000 cash prize, the winning submission will be featured in the print and online editions of the AJPM. The second and third prize winners will receive $2500 and $1000 respectively. The deadline for Round 3 submissions is March 19, 2013, and winners will be announced on April 30th.
Round 1 dealt with the general topic of childhood obesity, and Round 2 focused on policy. This final Challenge focuses on innovative clinical strategies such as:
- Interventions delivered in clinical settings through provider-patient or provider-family interactions
- Approaches by health care systems or health care plans
- Clinical-community or other unique partnerships (e.g., with state or local health departments)
- Strategies to bridge clinical efforts with support outside of the clinical setting
- Innovations in the integration of web, mobile or social technologies into clinical programs for childhood obesity
- Interventions focusing on obese or diabetic pregnant moms
In related and somewhat encouraging news for those trying to reduce childhood obesity, a report from the CDC found that American children, on average, are eating fewer calories now than they did a decade ago. Average energy intakes for all boys and all girls aged 2–19 decreased over the 12-year study period. The surprising drop is modest: boys’ caloric intake fell 7% overall, while girls’ energy intake dipped 4%. The decrease, researchers think, is likely in part because kids are eating fewer carbohydrates, but more protein.
While the data may foreshadow a future drop in obesity rates, that hasn’t happened just yet. “A harbinger of change is a good phrase,” R. Bethene Ervin, a CDC researcher and co-author of the report, told the New York Times. “But to see if it’s really a real trend, we would obviously need more years of data.”