• A multiyear collaboration between community non-profits and Lincoln Public Schools is lowering obesity and improving the physical fitness of Lincoln's school children! Read more.....

  • Sugar sweetened beverages are the number one source of excess calories leading to overweight and obesity. Learn more about what beverages you should choose…

  • PHL is offering Mini-Grant funds for variety of health and physical activity based projects and programs with the CLC setting. To learn more about the Mini-Grant request for proposals click here.

Why We Do What We Do

The obesity epidemic will likely cut the life expectancy of our children by an average of 5 years and threatens our economy with increased health care costs and lost productivity. In the 1970’s around 5% of children were obese. This has increased to a reported 18.2% in 2010. Through the combined efforts of community organizations in Lincoln and Lincoln Public Schools, we have decreased obesity in Lincoln’s Kindergarten through 8th grade children from 17.2% in the 2010-2011 school year to 15.8% in the 2013-2014 school year. This means we have 360 fewer obese school children, resulting in potential savings of $6.8 million in direct medical costs (based on $19,000 per child estimate for the costs of child obesity published recently). We are now on track to meet the CDC’s Healthy People 2020 goal for reductions in child obesity in Lincoln 6 years ahead of schedule!

We have also seen similar improvements in physical fitness which may be more important for long-term health than weight itself, as well as showing strong correlations with improved academic achievement (see our published study in the Journal of Pediatrics). We have been working with Lincoln Public Schools to track the physical fitness of children in Lincoln and have improved from 68.4% of 4-8th grade students passing the fitness test in the 2010-2011 school year to 70.7% passing in the 2013-2014 school year. Most of this progress is coming from our middle schools where students have PE class every other day, but we are seeing no progress in elementary school where students have PE only once a week or less. Because of this, our next major focus will be finding ways to get school children more active during the school day by either modifying the curriculum, lengthening the school day to make more time for physical activity, or adding more physical activity in programs before and after the school day.