How do you transform a city where almost half of the children are overweight or obese into a healthy, vibrant community? In this new video from the Collective Impact Forum, Dr. Christina Economos, principal investigator, and David Hudson, director of Shape Up Somerville, discuss the adoption of a collective impact approach and the journey that created a healthier Somerville.
Ten years ago, the youth of the city of Somerville, Mass., much like the rest of the country, faced an obesity epidemic. 44% of youth were obese or overweight, and overweight adolescents had a 70% chance of becoming overweight or obese adults. Isolated efforts by various organizations weren’t doing enough, fast enough, to improve the health of Somerville’s kids. In 2003, the City of Somerville, with the support of Tufts University, launched Shape Up Somerville, a collective impact initiative that brought together schools, government, civic organizations and businesses to create a healthier community. The initiative continues today, and has expanded to support the health and wellbeing of all residents and visitors of Somerville.