Specter and Casey Announce $1.4 Million In Stimulus Funds To Develop Obesity Prevention Programs In Philadelphia

UPenn project will identify ways to stem obesity, encourage access to healthy foods

Washington, D.C. – Today U.S. Senators Arlen Specter and Bob Casey announced the Department of Agriculture (USDA) has awarded $1,400,000 to the University of Pennsylvania to develop obesity prevention programs in Philadelphia.  The funding is contained in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act).

With this funding, the University of Pennsylvania will engage communities in two urban Philadelphia neighborhoods to expand the general understanding of nutrition, obesity and health.    Researchers will also develop ways in which to increase access to healthier foods and increase physical activity among the community.

“I am pleased to see stimulus funds being used to promote healthy lifestyles and the prevention of obesity in Philadelphia,” said Senator Specter.  “Health is our nation’s greatest capital asset, and we should devote resources to creating healthy environments and educating the public which will ultimately improve our quality of life and decrease the strain on our health care system.”

“Obesity is a serious epidemic facing our country,” said Senator Casey. “The federal funds going to the University of Pennsylvania will help expand understanding of nutrition, obesity and health among community members in Philadelphia.  By increasing access to nutritious foods and improving activity environments, we will prevent not only obesity, but also other serious health conditions. ”

This funding is part of a larger announcement from USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for $11 million nationwide to develop programs and projects which prevent weight gain and combat obesity.

For more information please visit www.nifa.usda.gov