In celebration of Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation’s five-year anniversary, we’re spotlighting a few of the partners who joined forces with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in an effort to reduce childhood obesity. These partners helped us achieve a 6.4 trillion reduction in calories from the marketplace, supported families in achieving energy balance, and reached nearly 15 million students with our Energy Balance 101 curriculum. Learn more about how The OrganWise Guys Inc. has partnered with the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation in the video and Q&A below with President, Dr. Michelle Lombardo.
Tell us about yourself and The OrganWise Guys.
For 20 years, The OrganWise Guys has worked with universities, foundations, public and private health organizations, nutrition experts and educators across the country to create a whole child approach to the prevention of childhood obesity. The OrganWise Guys are comprised of fun characters based on the organs of the body to teach children about nutrition and healthy living. Characters such as Hardy Heart®, Peri Stolic® the large intestine, and Sir Rebrum® the brain — coupled with high-energy activities — show children how to make prevention-oriented eating and physical activity choices. They are all about teaching children to be “Healthy and Smart from the Inside Out!”
How is your partnership with Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation unique?
We have been involved in a variety of coalitions through the years from local to national levels and, in many cases, witnessed more of a focus on the barriers to success. We found HWCF to have the distinct uniqueness of bringing public and private entities together in a manner that assists all members to focus on what they can offer toward a shared solution. By focusing on the proven business and marketing skills of the industry and the policy and implementation expertise of the public sector, HWCF provides a forum for collaboration with an emphasis on the positive aspects of each member and how they can assist in the shared mission.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments over the last five years?
Our biggest accomplishment has been creating and testing The OrganWise Guys Comprehensive School Program (OWG CSP). OWG CSP was part of the only published longitudinal (multi-year) school-based study to show statistically significantly greater improvements in weight, blood pressure, and waist circumference measures, as well as higher standardized test scores, of children in program schools as compared to children who were not. These results were published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and the American Journal of Public Health.
More recently, The OWG Summer Camp/After School Program was implemented in 450 park sites this summer in collaboration with National Recreation and Parks Association, thanks to a large grant from the Walmart Foundation. The purpose of this initiative is to address the Out-of -School Time for children, which has been shown to be less healthful (less structured time, decreased access to nutritious foods, etc.) than during the school year. This project also includes an evaluation component, which is currently underway.
How do you see your organization playing a role in the mission to reduce childhood obesity in the future?
Our work has been focused on this specific issue and we will continue to work with like-minded organizations who are interested in incorporating evidence-based tools into their programming to help bring nutrition and healthy living to life for children of all ages. What better spokespersons for health than our own actual OrganWise Guys who live inside of each of us!