Healthy for Life

An Effective Practice


In 2008, St. Joseph Health System and the American Academy of Pediatrics implemented Healthy For Life (HFL), a campaign to reduce childhood obesity and promote healthier lifestyles in Orange County, CA. HFL combats childhood obesity by providing linkages between health resources and stakeholders (children, teachers, and parents). A major component of HFL is PE4ME, a physical education program in Orange County taught by physical education instructors, nutritionists, and physicians. PE4ME is provided free of charge to schools and is integrated into the existing school day. PE4ME's curriculum instructs students both in proper exercise habits and healthy eating habits. In addition to the school-based intervention, HFL provides cooking classes, sports events, and an interactive website to further help parents and children reduce childhood obesity rates in Orange County.

Goal / Mission

Healthy For Life is school and community-based intervention program that promotes proper nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle habits in order to reduce childhood obesity in Orange County, CA.

Results / Accomplishments

Through Healthy for Life's PE4ME program, 2,500 students in 75 schools in Orange County, CA were provided with physical education classes. During 2010, 25% of PE4ME participants who were overweight at the beginning of the program lowered their weight to normal levels by the end of the program. The number of students who participated in physical activity for at least one hour three to five times a week rose from 47% to 55%. In addition, HFL successfully raised awareness of childhood obesity through collaborating with two celebrity chefs, Chefs Jaime Martín del Campo and Ramiro Arvizu. Chefs Campo and Arvizu developed a set of recipes that are healthy, easy to cook, and incorporate a wide array of flavors. Finally, HFL distributed 15,000 HFL backpacks at an Anaheim Angels major league baseball game as part of a promotion for healthier lifestyles.

About this Promising Practice

Primary Contact
Kellie Todd Griffin
500 South Main Street, Suite 1000
Orange, CA 92868
Health / Children's Health
Health / Teen & Adolescent Health
Health / Exercise, Nutrition, & Weight
St. Joseph Health System
Date of publication
Date of implementation
For more details
Target Audience
Children, Teens, Families

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