Using Technology to Prevent Childhood Obesity in Low-Income Families and Communities

About the Obesity Challenge

This challenge supports innovative technology-based solutions to empower low-income families to achieve and sustain healthy eating practices and healthy lifestyles.

Solutions should aim to address issues such as:

  • Promoting easier access to healthy, affordable food
  • Supporting community-owned solutions to broaden families’ knowledge and skills about nutrition and healthy eating
  • Increasing physical activity despite environmental barriers that affect underserved communities
  • Empowering families to achieve healthy eating practices, healthy lifestyles, and sustainable changes in the home environment while accounting for limited access to healthy foods in under-resourced communities

Why Innovation for Healthy Lifestyles Matters

Since 1980, childhood obesity rates for 2- to 19-year-olds have tripled, with rates of obesity in 6- to 11-year-olds more than doubling, and rates of obesity in 12- to 19-year-olds quadrupling.

While improved eating behaviors and increased physical activity play a large role in obesity prevention, additional public health factors such as limited access to affordable, healthy food options, social and cultural norms, and limited availability of safe places to play also impact childhood obesity rates.

While existing apps and tools address individual behaviors, such as exercise and nutrition, their uptake in underserved communities is limited because they are not tailored to the needs, challenges, and barriers to healthy weight in these communities.

The goal of this challenge is to make technology work for the family as a unit within the reality of their larger community environment.

Phases 1 and 2 are now Closed.

Learn more about our Winners.