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P002: Public Health Division (FY17-FY19 Strategic Plan)

P002: Percent of children in Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC) with increased opportunities for healthy eating in public elementary schools

Current Value




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Story Behind the Curve

  • Childhood obesity occurs when a child is well above the healthy weight for his/her age and height. Obesity is defined as a Body Mass Index (BMI) at or above the 95th percentile for children of the same age and sex.
  • Obese children are more likely to become obese adults with increased risk of chronic conditions including heart disease and type 2 diabetes. American Indian children have the highest obesity rates among all racial/ethnic groups; by third grade, nearly half (48.7%) of American Indian students are overweight or obese, followed by Hispanic students (36.0%).
  • While obesity prevalence among third grade students has increased from 18.9% in 2015 to 19.4% in 2016, overall third grade prevalence has decreased since 2010, from 22.6% to 19.4%, a 14% change.
  • Diverse multi-sector coalitions comprised of key community leaders help Healthy Kids Healthy Communities (HKHC) achieve meaningful progress in the school setting, local food system, and built environment. Consuming a healthy diet and being physically active can help children grow as well as maintain a healthy weight throughout childhood. Our program will continue to work with HKHC coalitions and statewide partners to build support and ensure obesity prevention in schools and communities are sustainable.


  • NM Public Education Department
  • NM Children, Youth and Families Department
  • NM Human Services Department 
  • NM Department of Transportation
  • Women, Infants and Children Program 
  • NM State University
  • University of NM
  • New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) health promotion teams
  • Schools
  • Planning organizations
  • Parks and recreation
  • Local and tribal governments
  • HKHC: Chaves, Cibola, Curry, Doña Ana, Eddy, Grant, Guadalupe, Hidalgo, Lincoln, Luna, McKinley, Roosevelt, San Juan, Socorro counties; pueblos of San Ildefonso, Zuni, Ohkay Owingeh, Santa Ana, and Santo Domingo

What Works

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Best and Promising Practices for Obesity Prevention:

  • Improving nutrition quality of foods and beverages served or available in schools consistent with the Institute of Medicine’s Nutrition Standards for Foods in Schools (including increased access to fruit, vegetables, and plain drinking water).
  • Improving the quality and amount of physical education and activity in schools (including increased physical activity opportunities throughout the school day such as daily recess, mileage clubs, and walk and roll to school programs).


  • Establish and expand the 5.2.1.O Challenge in elementary schools.
  • Establish and expand healthy eating opportunities (fruit and vegetable tastings, salad bars, healthy snacks, edible gardens).
  • Establish and expand physical activity opportunities before, during, and after school (schoolyards for open community use, walk and roll to school programs, mileage clubs).

Action Plan

Expand the HKHC model in seven counties selected in FY16 based on poverty status and readiness to implement healthy eating and physical activity strategies to prevent obesity.

  • Q1:
    • 72 HKHC elementary schools awarded the Federal Fresh Fruit & Vegetable Program: Met: 72 schools.
    • 4 executed state fiscal year contracts: Not met: 2 contracts executed. 
  • Q2: 
    • 50 HKHC elementary schools conducting regular fruit/vegetable tastings: Exceeded: 70 schools.
    • 21 executed federal fiscal year contracts with October start dates. Not met: 10 contracts executed.
  • Q3
    • 50 HKHC elementary schools implementing the 5.2.1.O Challenge. Exceeded: 60 schools.
  • Q4: 
    • 65 public elementary schools recruited for statewide childhood obesity surveillance. Exceeded: 68 schools.
    • 6 nursing programs assisting with statewide childhood obesity surveillance. Exceeded: 12 programs.

FY17 Annual Progress Summary

  • In FY17, the Obesity, Nutrition & Physical Activity (ONAPA) Program expanded the HKHC community transformation model to counties and tribal communities that had not yet been reached by comprehensive obesity prevention initiatives. 
  • Throughout the year, ONAPA worked closely with 14 counties and five tribal communities to build and maintain diverse coalition teams, create sustainable policy, systems, and environmental changes, and motivate children and families to adopt healthy lifestyle behaviors. 
  • In the fall of 2016, ONAPA and its partners, completed statewide childhood obesity surveillance by measuring 7,557 students in 59 randomly selected public elementary schools.
  • In March 2017, ONAPA published its New Mexico Childhood Obesity 2016 Update. ONAPA and its partners also built support for measuring an additional 2,961 students in 32 HKHC schools, so HKHC communities would have more representative childhood obesity data. 
  • HKHC communities leveraged at least 51,701 partner volunteer hours and over two million dollars to support healthy eating and physical activity initiatives in the school setting, food setting, and built environment.

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