Purpose and Approach
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana Foundation (BCBSLAF) is issuing a challenge to communities across the state to help reshape their environments to support healthy living and prevent obesity. For this initiative, BCBSLAF is partnering with the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, noted for its work to combat childhood obesity and recognized as the foremost academic nutritional research center in the world. The goal of the Blue Cross’ Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana program is to support communities in the implementation of healthy eating and active living programs along with environmental change initiatives that support healthier communities for children and families across Louisiana.
Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana seeks innovative projects that address the root causes of obesity through integrated changes in policies, norms, practices, social supports, and the physical environment. Projects that target underserved or highrisk populations are particularly encouraged. Projects should have multiple collaborators and should incorporate several of the following efforts:
- Encourage healthy lifestyles
- Promote physical activity
- Promote fitness and nutrition education
- Support parental involvement in their children’s lives
- Provide access to safe facilities and neighborhoods for physical activity
- Directly support adequate and healthy nutrition
- Health Care Settings
It is generally thought that interventions that target multiple components and levels of influence have a greater probability of moving the needle on childhood obesity. Projects that include several of the above components will receive special consideration. Community support and strong collaborators are critical for supporting and providing opportunities to support healthier lifestyles, as well as to sustain efforts beyond Challenge Grant funding. Applicants must provide evidence of prior effectiveness of proposed project components to receive full consideration for funding. Support from research studies, pilot programs, or related projects as to the effectiveness of one or more of the components of the proposed project is critical.