Deadline approaching for childhood obesity grants


Time is running out for community organizations to apply for grants to fight childhood obesity throughout Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.


HEAL (Healthy Eating, Active Living) Appalachia, a program created by the Mountain States Health Alliance and East Tennessee State University Obesity Collaborative, is offering $50,000 in grants to community organizations whose goal is to reduce the level of childhood obesity in the region. HEAL Appalachia will award 25 grants of $2,000 each to community-based organizations that aim to improve the health of children, including faith-based organizations, schools, employers, health professionals, and more. 

The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. on March 1. Grants will be awarded at the HEAL Appalachia obesity symposium on April 27. Applications are available online at HEAL Appalachia was created in response to the alarming increase in obesity among children in the region. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity among teens in Tennessee increased 18% between 1990 and 2009. Obesity is estimated to cost the American economy $147 billion annually. 

“Tennessee ranks among the worst three states in the nation for obesity, and some data suggest that our region may be worse than the rest of the state for childhood obesity,” said Dr. Randy Wykoff, dean of ETSU’s College of Public Health. “It is time that all of us work together to stop this epidemic before our children suffer its long-term impacts.


“The beauty of community micro-grants is that they allow communities to identify the obesity programs that they think will work, and then provide the support that those communities need to implement those programs.”

For more information on the Community Grants Program, e-mail or
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