Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to Reverse Childhood Obesity with New $500M Pledge

February 11, 2015

Building on a $500 million commitment made in 2007, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has recently announced a renewed pledge, bringing the total to $1 billion. The impressive sum will be aimed at reversing the childhood obesity epidemic.

RWJF is the largest health-focused philanthropic organization, and the impact it has had on the nation’s health over the past decade has been unprecedented. Promising reductions in childhood obesity rates show that RWJF’s work has already made a difference in addressing the challenge facing families and children across the country.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is in this fight for the long haul to ensure that all kids grow up at a healthy weight, said Roger S. Fine, JD, chairman of the RWJF Board of Trustees. With this new commitment, we look forward to working with existing and new allies to realize a future in which every child can live a long, healthy life."

By 2025, RWJF wants to ensure that all children in America grow up at a healthy weight, regardless of location or family background. The Foundation’s effort to address the challenge, once and for all, will be based on the following priorities.

  • Ensure that all children enter kindergarten at a healthy weight.
  • Make a healthy school environment the norm and not the exception across the United States.
  • Make physical activity a part of the everyday experience for children and youth.
  • Make healthy foods and beverages the affordable, available, and desired choice in all neighborhoods and communities.
  • Eliminate the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages among 0-5 year olds.

Through partnerships with businesses and other community leaders, RWJF’s initiatives have given schools the opportunity to create transformational changes in the way they address childhood obesity.

All of society pays a stiff price for childhood obesity. Twenty percent of the United States’ total expenditures on health care can be linked to conditions associated with obesity. Obesity costs our society more than smoking or drinking," explains Senator Bill Frist, MD.

RWJF recognizes that businesses, communities, and individuals are all affected by the challenge, and close ties among cross-sector leaders have helped them to extend their reach.

We are always thrilled to see impactful partnerships in action, and we congratulate RWJF on being a national leader in working to solve one of society's biggest challenges.