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UT School of Public Health Program to Prevent Childhood Obesity Expands to Central Texas Middle Schools
Date:3/5/2009

- The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation awards grant totaling more than $3 million to fund expansion of proven school health program -

AUSTIN, Texas, March 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The Michael & Susan Dell Center for Advancement of Healthy Living, part of The University of Texas School of Public Health Austin Regional Campus, is pleased to announce the expansion of the Coordinated Approach To Child Health (CATCH) program to Travis County and Central Texas middle schools.

The CATCH Middle School program is made possible thanks to a four-year, $3.1 million grant provided by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, which builds upon the foundation's previous grants to fund the original CATCH Elementary School program in Travis County.

"After seeing data that clearly demonstrate the positive impact the CATCH program is having on Texas elementary students, we were thrilled to award a grant that will allow the program to expand into middle schools," said Dr. Aliya Hussaini, grant officer at the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. "We know that obese children are at greater risk of developing long term chronic health problems, and through programs like CATCH, which has proven effective and sustainable, we can continue to educate students about the importance of establishing healthy habits they will carry into adulthood."

The middle school coordinated health program will focus on educating students about the importance of physical activity and healthy eating and their impact on academic performance. The overarching goal of this effort is to decrease the prevalence of obese eighth graders in the Central Texas area from a baseline of 17 percent obese to 11 percent obese after 3.5 years of the program. More than 32,000 students across 33 middle schools in five school districts in Central Texas will be reached by this effort. Districts planning to implement the program include Austin, Del V
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SOURCE Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
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