By researching children’s hunger, nutrition, and fitness, The Junior League of Mobile discovered that Alabama and the League’s local counties, including Mobile and Baldwin Counties, lacked a study on childhood obesity. JLM met with the Mobile County Health Department and a dean from the University of South Alabama and proposed a partnership to conduct the first childhood obesity study as a way of defining the problem and determining its scope. JLM believes the study can be beneficial not only locally but also statewide in developing a strategy to combat the problem.

Community partners

  • University of South Alabama
  • Mobile County Public Health Department
  • Mobile County Public School System

How it works

The study addressing the obesity rate among children in Mobile County is a collaboration between JLM, the University of South Alabama (USA), and the Mobile County Public Health Department: USA will design the study; JLM volunteers will be trained at the USA to conduct on-site analysis of the necessary input variables for each child and work with the school system and an on-site nurse to conduct the study; the Mobile County Public Health Department will define the parameters used in the study and provide support to the nursing staff at the school(s).

What’s the impact?

The goal of the Childhood Obesity Study is to quantify the problems related to undernourished and obese children in their community so that JLM and others can choose effective hunger, nutrition, and fitness programming for students. The study will take approximately two years to complete. According to the Mobile County Public School system definition, there are just over 5,000 children who are homeless. It is JLM’s goal to provide data that will allow anyone in the area helping these children gain access to healthy food and exercise to have metrics that support their efforts and allow them to get the funding they need to make a measurable impact.