Obesity is one of the most critical health epidemics of our time, and our youngest generation risks becoming the first to live shorter lives than their parents. Health officers are working hard to address the obesity epidemic in their local communities. Yet they need more and better tools to describe the scale of the problem, meaningfully engage communities and families, and generate local support for policies and interventions that can make a difference.
That was our inspiration for HealthData+Obesity, a one-stop-shop where health officials can access a wide variety of relevant information regarding obesity — available for every single county in the United States.
The online resource built on the LiveStories platform and in partnership with the Public Health Institute was submitted to the U.S. Obesity Data Challenge — a joint U.S.-England initiative designed to harness the power of health data in tackling the epidemic of adult obesity in both countries. The competition was launched by the U.S. Department of Human & Health Services, de Beaumont Foundation, Health Data Consortium, and National Health Service (U.K.).
We are honored and thrilled to announce that our application was awarded 1st place in the Obesity Data Challenge and was presented on the main stage at the Health and Care Innovation Expo 2015 in Manchester, England.
The HealthData+Obesity application is an example of how health departments can combine data sources with local knowledge and narratives to help drive decision-making and change. It’s a need we experience on a daily basis in our outreach and contact with health departments around the country. The award has already lead to a flood of interest from health officers from 19 different states in just a few days, and we are excited to support health departments across the country as they work to improve health in their communities.