CDPHP Collaborative News: Spotlight on Healthy Weight - JANUARY 2014

Alaska Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

CDPHP Collaborative News

Move More, Eat Well, Stay Safe, Tobacco Free

Healthy Weight Resources

> State of Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program

> Adult Obesity Facts

> Childhood Obesity Facts

> Healthy Futures Facebook

> Alaska Alliance for Healthy Kids


> Healthy Futures Challenge – Get Out and Play

> Kikkan Randall Challenges Kids to Play Every Day

> Alaska Athletes Play Every Day

> Bringing Salad Bars to Alaska Schools

CDPHP Documents

> Alaska Obesity Facts: Sugary Drinks

> Alaska Obesity Facts: Local Foods

Related Links

Healthy Futures


Play Every Day


Farm to School


Food Policy Council

January 2014

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Spotlight on

Healthy Weight

Scale and measuring tape

For many, the new year brings with it a sense of enthusiasm for setting and achieving personal goals. After a holiday season filled with festive calorie-laden celebrations, these goals often include losing a few pounds and maintaining a healthy weight. Many Alaskans have their work cut out for them in this area. The most recent data shows that 67% of adults in our state are overweight or obese – a number that has doubled in the past 20 years.[1]

Obese individuals have excess body fat that increases their risk for health problems. Overweight and obesity ranges are often determined by using weight and height to calculate a number called the “body mass index” (BMI). While it doesn’t calculate body fat per se, for many people BMI correlates with body fat and is a quick and free way to calculate health risk. An adult is considered to be at a healthy weight if their BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI between 25 and 29.9 indicates the adult is overweight. A BMI of 30 or higher in an adult indicates obesity.

Overweight and obesity are not just adult problems. Currently, 26% of Alaska’s high school students are either overweight or obese, as are 41% of 3-year-olds.[1] Youth overweight and obesity are calculated using the BMI-for-age growth charts that account for growth patterns.

Efforts to curb youth overweight and obesity are currently under way. The State of Alaska Obesity Prevention and Control Program (OPCP), in partnership with a variety of organizations across Alaska, is working to increase physical activity and improve nutrition. An extensive list of those efforts can be found here, but some of the initiatives include:

Healthy FuturesOPCP has partnered with Healthy Futures and the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame to promote a school-based physical activity challenge. Participation has been increasing rapidly. More than 15,700 of Alaska’s elementary-age students, or 1 out of 5 students, participated in the Healthy Futures Challenge during fall 2013.

Play Every DayPlay Every Day is a public education campaign designed to help parents learn about the benefits of physical activity and provide ideas to increase the amount of activity among youth. The campaign uses community and school events, as well as television, radio, print, online and other resources, to increase physical activity among youth and families and encourage participation in the Healthy Futures Challenge and physical activity events.

Obesity Prevention and Control School Grants Beginning with the 2013-14 school year, OPCP is funding 9 school districts working to improve nutrition and physical activity environments. Grantees will implement high quality physical education programs in addition to recess and before/after school activities that will help students meet the recommended 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Grantees also will implement other programs, such as the farm-to-school, fish-to-school, and salad bars in schools programs.

Farm-to-SchoolIn partnership with the Department of Agriculture, OPCP helped fund competitive grants to schools to implement Farm-to-School projects. Eighteen projects were funded that involved 35 schools from 17 different communities. The OPCP promoted the Nutritional Alaskan Foods in Schools grant to help all schools purchase more locally grown and harvested foods.

Salad Bars in SchoolsIn partnership with the Department of Education & Early Development, Child Nutrition Services and the Farm to School Program, OPCP provided training and resources to school districts on implementing salad bars in schools. For the 2013-14 school year, 14 mini-grants were awarded to schools across the state for new salad bars.

Alaska Food Policy Council - OPCP provides funding and leadership to the Alaska Food Policy Council (AFPC), which is comprised of 200 individuals from federal and state agencies, tribal entities, university programs, farms, fisheries, and food systems businesses. The intent of the AFPC is to provide recommendations and information regarding comprehensive policies that improve Alaska’s food system.

Traditional Foods - Partnering with the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium (ANTHC) Traditional Foods, Contemporary Chef project, OPCP is promoting the health benefits, awareness, and accessibility of traditional Alaska Native foods. This project highlights the regional diversity and nutritional value of subsistence foods and demonstrates through web-based videos contemporary cooking of traditional Alaska Native foods.


  1.  Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Alaska Obesity Facts Report – 2012. Anchorage, Alaska: Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Public Health, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services; August 2012. Accessed 12-20-2013.


> Introducing a new resource for Alaska - Safe and Healthy Me!

Safe and Healthy Me


> Living Well Alaska - Chronic Disease Self Management Leader Training

  • January 13, 14, 15, 17, 2014
  • Website
  • Contact Leslie Shallcross at 786-6313 or by email

Save the Date - Upcoming Events

Alaska Public Health Association - 31st annual Health Summit

  • January 27-29, 2014
  • Captain Cook Hotel
  • Visit ALPHA website for more information


Webinar - Measuring Student Height & Weight: Guidelines for Schools

Presented by the Alaska Division of Public Health

  • January 30th, 2014 at 3:30-5:00 pm
  • Contact Mary Bell at 907-269-7368 or by email

Key Section Publications

> CDPHP Strategic Plan: Executive Summary (2012)

> CDPHP Strategic Plan (2012)

> Web of Chronic Disease Infographic (2013)