- Knoxville Area Coalition on Childhood Obesity
  • Search:

East Tennessee Children's Hospital » About Us » Community Outreach » Childhood Obesity Coalition

Childhood Obesity Coalition

Childhood Obesity Coaltion

The Childhood Obesity Coalition was started in October 2008 by lead organization East Tennessee Children's Hospital. Since then, the Coalition has grown to include more than 35 community agencies and organizations represented by over 90 individuals. Our mission is to identify and involve current community programs as well as initiate, coordinate and support sustainable efforts that will lead to the reduction and prevention of childhood obesity in the East Tennessee Region.

Our vision is to become one of America's fittest cities for children by 2015 - a lofty goal which uses an ecological approach of interventions at all levels: individual, family, neighborhood, business, and rules and law. Our goal is to reverse the trend of obesity, defined as >95.0 age and gender specific BMI percentile, among children. The Coalition's work is undertaken by five committees: Advocacy, Assessment/Outcomes, Community Awareness, Funding, and Programs/Services. We invite you to join a committee or participate in a variety of other ways. Working together we can improve the health of our children and families.

Contact InformationChildhood Obesity CoalitionChildren's Hospital Logo
East Tennessee Children's Hospital
P.O. Box 15010-5010
Knoxville, TN 37901
Contact Us

Facts About Childhood Obesity

Overweight and obesity projections in America Adults and Children (2010-2048)

Childhood Obesity Chart

A child who is overweight before the age of 8 is at risk for severe adult obesity.

  • 80% of children overweight at age 10-15 were obese adults at age 25
  • 25% of obese adults were overweight as children
  • 33.1% of Knox County students are overweight or obese

Obese children and adolescents have an increased risk for:

  • Heart disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Dyslipidemia
  • Stroke, Liver & Gallbladder Disease
  • Sleep Apnea
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Gynecological problems
  • Cancers (breast, endometrial & colon)

BMI Calculator

BMI means"body mass index" and it is a calculation using a person's weight and height if that person is an adult. For children, the gender and age is also considered. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides this calculator to help you determine BMI and the corresponding BMI-for-age percentile on a CDC BMI-for-age growth chart.

Use this calculator for children and teens, age 2-19 years old: http://apps.nccd.cdc.gov/dnpabmi/

Youth, Education, Activity, Health (Y.E.A.H.)

KIDS! This section is just for you. Ever get tired of being told to eat right and exercise "because it's good for you?" Or maybe you want to get healthier but don't know how to get started eating right and exercising because it seems like you have to do something really hard and boring and eat stuff that just plain tastes bad!

While making healthful choices and being active is "good for you," it doesn't have to be hard or boring, and it certainly doesn't have to taste bad. In fact it's just the opposite! Getting fit and healthy can be fun and tasty while boosting your confidence and giving you energy. Being healthy can also improve your grades.

What does fitness look like to you? Most people think of exercise or working out takes a fancy gym or a certain sport but it can be anything that gets you up and moving! Chances are you have a favorite song. So, crank up the volume and dance like no one is watching! When the song is over you'll probably be hot, breathing harder, and maybe even a little sweaty! GREAT! You did it! You exercised! Fun huh!?!?! Do this every day to keep yourself active!


Healthy, well-nourished kids are better prepared mentally and physically to take on the day. Good nutrition begins at home, so talk to your child about making healthy food and beverage choices and model those healthy behaviors yourself. Also look for creative and inexpensive ways to celebrate with your kids (e.g., special time together, family outings, purchase of a book or interactive toy) rather than using food as a reward.

Leading national education organizations recognize the close relationship between health and education, as well as the need to foster health and well-being within the educational environment for all students. Scientific reviews have documented that school health programs can have positive effects on educational outcomes, as well as health-risk behaviors and health outcomes. Health-risk behaviors such as early sexual initiation, violence, and physical inactivity are consistently linked to poor grades and test scores and lower educational attainment.


East Tennessee is blessed with remarkable natural resources: different types of parks, water resources and extensive greenways allow East Tennesseans and visitors to make use of our beautiful landscape. The many parks offer places and opportunities to increase your physical fitness and improve your health while having fun in the great outdoors. From peaceful greenways to high energy soccer games, local parks offer a variety of ways to get active. From trail walking to all out mountain climbing, get your heart rate thumping while enjoying the natural beauty of the nearby Smoky Mountains. From swimming in the lakes to tubing down a river, there is something for everyone. The local, state, and national parks located in our very own back yard provide an inexpensive, natural way to enjoy the environment while helping to maintain or achieve a healthful lifestyle. So keep clicking to find the right place for you then lace up your shoes, get your swim suit, grab a ball or a good ole walking stick and head outside!


It is important to find a doctor that both you and your child are comfortable with, is located conveniently for you, and has a schedule that can fit your schedule. If possible, have a conversation with the pediatrician before you make an appointment to take your child in so that all of your questions can be answered. Things to consider:

  • Is the pediatrician accepting new patients with my insurance or managed care plan?
  • What are the office hours?
  • Is the waiting area clean?
  • Is there a separate waiting room for sick kids?
  • Is the staff friendly and helpful?
  • What is the best time to call with routine questions?
  • How does the office handle billing and insurance claims?  Is payment due at the time of the visit?
  • What hospital does the doctor prefer to use?
  • If my child is admitted to the hospital, can I stay overnight?
  • What happens if there is an after-hours concern or emergency?
  • Are walk-in visits accommodated?
  • Who"covers" the practice when my pediatrician in unavailable?
  • How long is a typical check-up?
  • What is the doctor's philosophy on breastfeeding, circumcision, vaccinations, sleep, discipline and other issues?

To find a pediatrician in East Tennessee, go to: http://www.etch.com/findadoc/

Coalition Strategies to Fight Childhood Obesity

  1. Work with individuals, families, clinical settings, schools, communities and government to identify, manage, and ultimately, prevent childhood obesity in the Knoxville area.
  2. Create interventions and models for improvement that can be replicated throughout Tennessee and the nation.
  3. Perform research to learn more about the success of obesity prevention and treatment efforts.  
  4. Partner with national experts to improve the care of children who are overweight and obese.
  5. Reduce childhood obesity by promoting policy change.
  6. Build awareness and educate the public about the problem of childhood obesity.
  7. Catalyze partnerships and encourage collaboration among existing community resources.
  8. Plant seeds of information and build momentum for action without being proscriptive.
  9. Ensure strategies emphasize policy and environmental changes and not just individual and family efforts.
  10. Research and provide culturally competent educational materials.
  11. Serve as a forum for speakers.
  12. Engage in outreach and media campaign.
  13. Support the creation of programs and services.
  14. Identify funding opportunities to support ongoing efforts.
  15. Facilitate opportunities for organizations and agencies of a like mind to partner on programs and activities that promote healthy lifestyle choices.