About IAPO

What does the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity do?

The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO) is a multi-sector coalition that works for equitable and just opportunities for Illinoisans to eat healthy and be physically active to optimize their health and well-being. Through partnerships and collaboration, public awareness building, technical assistance and advocacy, IAPO:

  • Develops, changes, and implements policies and systems to support nutrition and physical activity and eliminate social and institutional barriers to maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Fosters communities and institutions that integrate healthy foods and beverages and physical activity choices into everyday activities.

What are policy, systems, and environmental changes?

For years, health advocates have been telling people to eat less and exercise more, but this overly simplistic message is not working. In fact, obesity rates remain at all-time high. Clearly, a different approach is needed.

Policy, systems, and environmental change is an effective way of modifying the environment to make healthy choices practical and available to all Illinois citizens. IAPO supporters believe that where we live and the world around us affects how we live. Illinois citizens cannot make healthy choices if healthy options are not available. Therefore, obesity must be treated as a public health crisis, not merely as a problem of individual will-power.

Our proposed solutions to the obesity epidemic focus on coordinated policy, systems, and environmental changes. By changing laws and shaping physical landscapes, a big impact can be made with little time and resources. By changing policies, systems and/or environments, communities can help tackle health issues like obesity, diabetes, cancer, other chronic diseases and the escalating costs of health care.

How was the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity created?

In January 2010, a diverse group of organizations and concerned citizens came together to launch the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity.

In February 2010 and March 2010, more than 300 people from groups and communities across the state attended community forums and offered testimony about the obesity epidemic in Illinois and how it threatens to overwhelm our healthcare system, cause huge increases in debilitating chronic disease and undermine our economy. Stakeholders from across the state also offered policy and environmental solutions from various sectors including, but not limited to, nutrition, physical activity, school environments, workplaces, health care settings, planning, transportation, agriculture and community organizations.

The consensus reached during these forums was the basis for the State Obesity Action Roadmap, as well as IAPO’s Short-Term Goals and Long-Term Goals.

To learn more about IAPO or how you can get involved, contact Janna Simon at janna.simon@iphionline.org or call 312-850-4744.

The Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity is convened and managed by the Illinois Public Health Institute.
To learn more FACTS on Obesity in Illinois click here

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