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Promising Program Seal

Planet Health

Blueprints Program Rating: Promising

A two-year school-based health behavior intervention designed to reduce obesity among students in grades 6-8 by increasing energy expenditure while promoting key dietary behaviors. The program has only shown impacts on obesity outcomes for girls.

Planet Health is an inexpensive program that is typically implemented by P.E., health education, and academic teachers during regular classroom time, so the allocation of teaching time is the most critical resource to sustaining the program. Existing school district funds for training and curricula purchases can potentially cover the relatively low-cost initial training and materials. Public health, education, and private foundation streams aimed at preventing obesity can also support the program.

Allocating State or Local General Funds

Planet Health is a school-based program with low-cost training and materials. School districts may be able to allocate funds for the purchase of training and curricula in their professional development budgets. Some states have also created obesity prevention initiatives and funding streams that could support the implementation of Planet Health. State obesity prevention funds are typically administered through public health agencies.

Maximizing Federal Funds

Formula Funds:

  • Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant which funds public health activities aimed at supporting healthy pregnancy and childhood can support obesity prevention. State departments of health administer these funds and develop statewide priorities that are then carried out by local health departments. Some states have prioritized childhood obesity as a focus area for these funds.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds are administered to city and county governments and the public services portion of these funds (15%) can support a wide variety of human services, and are often administered through a competitive grant process at the local level. Community-based agencies partnering with schools to implement Planet Health could be positioned to access CDBG funds to support implementation.

Discretionary Grants:

  • The federal Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Disease Control (CDC), Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) administers discretionary grants to state governments, community organizations, and national organizations aimed at testing and implementing evidence-based strategies for preventing obesity. These include the Childhood Obesity Demonstration Project, Community Transformation Grants, Communities Putting Prevention to Work, and state grants. (See http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/stateprograms/cdc.html for more information.)
  • The federal Department of Education administers the Carol M. White Physical Education Program which awards funds to Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and community based organizations to initiate, expand, and improve physical education programs. (See http://www2.ed.gov/programs/whitephysed/index.html for more information.)

Foundation Grants and Public-Private Partnerships

There are a number of foundations that have prioritized the prevention of obesity and promotion of healthy lifestyles that could fund the training and curricula for Planet Health. Corporate giving programs and foundations from food industries as well as health care industries may have a particular interest in obesity prevention. Health conversion foundations, created when nonprofit hospitals convert to for-profit entities, also typically fund a portfolio of health access and promotion projects.

All information comes from the responses to a questionnaire submitted by Human Kinetics, Inc. and the Harvard School of Public Health Prevention Research Center to the Annie E. Casey Foundation