Stories

A collection of insights from experts about data releases, firsthand accounts about the impact of important policies, and reports from places that have measured a decline in childhood obesity rates.

Updated: September 2018

SNAP Stories

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program is the nation’s largest nutrition assistance program, helping feed more than 40 million Americans each month. Learn more about the critical support SNAP provides to families and individuals across the country, including firsthand accounts from program participants in Michigan, Kansas, Alabama and Washington state.

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Adult Obesity in the United States 2017

The Time to Invest Is Now

John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, comments on the newly released adult obesity rate data, and shares a vision for how to address this complex challenge. He notes that policies and programs that align efforts across sectors can work to prevent and reduce obesity. What needs to be done now is to implement those efforts in more communities, particularly the communities hardest hit by the obesity crisis.

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SNAP Story

How SNAP Helped this Kansas Mom Leave an Abusive Relationship

Kolia Souza and her husband, Brian Johnson, share stories about how SNAP helped them during a challenging time in their lives.

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SNAP Story

How SNAP Kept this Kansas Family Going After Father Lost his Job

Husband and wife, Tim and Emily Brown, talk about the short period of time they received SNAP benefits after Tim lost his job.

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SNAP Story

How these Michigan Farmers & Veterans Support Families Participating in SNAP

Fellow veterans and friends Jeremy Huffman and Adam Ingrao talk about transitioning from the military to their roles as farmers and healthy food advocates supporting families who participate in SNAP.

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SNAP Story

How SNAP Helped this Alabama Mom Graduate College and Give her Daughter a Healthy Start

Dr. Jennifer Wells-Marshall tells her friend and colleague, Helen Jones, about receiving SNAP benefits for a period of time when her daughter was young before going on to get her Ph.D.

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SNAP Story

How SNAP Enables this Busy Alabama Mom to Provide for her Young Family

Andrika Harmon talks with Kristi Gay, her nurse home visitor, about how SNAP helps her buy healthy food to support her young family while she is working and finishing college.

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SNAP Story

How SNAP Helps this Michigan Family Access Healthy Food

Sixteen-year-old Max and his mother, Catherine Gage, discuss the important role of SNAP in helping their family get the nutrition they need during a difficult time.

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SNAP Story

This mom left an abusive relationship and fell into poverty. Here’s how she got out.

Stephanie Land fell into poverty after fleeing an abusive relationship. SNAP helped her finish college and provide for her daughter.

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Commentary

The Time to Invest Is Now

John Auerbach, president and CEO of Trust for America’s Health, comments on the newly released adult obesity rate data, and shares a vision for how to address this complex challenge. He notes that policies and programs that align efforts across sectors can work to prevent and reduce obesity. What needs to be done now is to implement those efforts in more communities, particularly the communities hardest hit by the obesity crisis.

Read Commentary

Many of our stories highlight unique approaches schools, communities and states are using to track obesity prevalence and support healthier environments for kids and families. While no single strategy is directly linked with declining childhood obesity rates, these state and local efforts may help inform work in other communities.

Progress Report

American Indian and Alaska Native Youth

Obesity rates have stabilized among kids in Indian country.

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Rate Decline

WIC Preschoolers

CDC reported a decline in obesity rates among 2- to 4-year old WIC participants from 2010 to 2014.

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Rate Decline

Anchorage, Alaska

Anchorage reported a 5.4% decline in the overweight and obesity rates among children in grades K, 1, 3, 5 and 7 from 2004 to 2014.

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Rate Decline

Cherokee County, South Carolina

Cherokee County reported declines in overweight and obesity rates among students in grades 1 and 3 from 2012 to 2015.

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Rate Decline

Colorado

Colorado reported a 7.4% decline among 2- to 4-year-olds enrolled in WIC from 2012 to 2015.

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Rate Decline

Greater St. Cloud, Minnesota

Greater St. Cloud reported a 24% decline in the obesity rates among children age 12 from 2008 to 2015.

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Rate Decline

New Mexico

New Mexico reported declines in overweight and obesity rates among kindergartners and third graders from 2010 to 2015.

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Rate Decline

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia reported a 6.5% decline in the obesity rate for students in grades K-12 from 2006-07 to 2012-13.

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Seminole County, Florida

Seminole Co., reported a 13.7% decline among children in grades 1, 3 and 6 from 2006-07 to 2013-14.

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Southern California

Southern California reported an 8.4% decline in the obesity rates among children and teenagers from 2008 to 2013.

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Rate Decline

DuPage County, Illinois

DuPage Co., reported a 4.5% decline in the overweight and obesity rates among students in grades K, 6 and 9 from 2011 to 2014.

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Rate Decline

Lincoln, Nebraska

Lincoln reported an 8.2% decline in the obesity rates among children in grades K-8 from 2010 to 2013.

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Mississippi

Mississippi reported an 11.6% decline in the overweight and obesity rates among children in grades K-5 from 2005 to 2013.

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Tennessee

Tennessee reported a decline in obesity among students in grades K, 2, 4, 6, 8 and high school from 2007-08 to 2012-13.

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California

California reported a 1.1% decline in obesity among students in grades 5, 7 and 9 from 2005 to 2010.

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Kearney, Nebraska

The Kearney school district reported a 13.4% decline in obesity among children in grades K-5 from 2006 to 2011.

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Rate Decline

New York, New York

New York City reported a 5.5% decline in obesity among students in grades K-8 from 2006-07 to 2010-11.

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