Keeping Americans Healthy and Strong: American Obesity Foundation

by Deirdre Appel
American Obesity Foundation

Name: American Obesity Foundation

What They Do:  The American Obesity Foundation is determined to prevent obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and asthma, in underserved communities of New York City’s Southeast Queens, Far Rockaway, East New York, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem and the South Bronx.

How They Do It: The foundation seeks to accomplish the goals outlined above by developing and advocating for people-centered initiatives that promote healthy nutritional choices, exercise habits and sustainable lifestyle changes. They are standing up to the obesity epidemic by challenging bad habits in homes, schools and workplaces; ensuring that kids, adults and families have access to the  up-to-date resources they need to make healthier choices; expanding their work in places where communities struggle to find affordable quality food and resources; and advocating for expanded space for physical activity and increased access to healthcare.

They collaborate with other community-based stakeholders such as parents, employers, schools, community leaders, businesses, residents, elected officials and members of the clergy, to expand awareness of a “Health-is-Wealth” mindset and promote a healthy community culture in which all can thrive. The foundation’s initiatives are governed by the belief that a multi-pronged approach is needed in order to reverse years of entrenched poor eating, poor exercise habits and poor lifestyle choices.

Mission: The American Obesity Foundation  is focused on keeping Americans in underserved communities healthy and strong by preventing obesity and obesity-related suffering.

Latest project/campaign: As part of the organization’s effort to American Obesity Foundation mobile clinics regularly canvass high-risk neighborhoods to inform and educate residents about the necessity of eating fresh fruits and vegetables on a consistent basis; screening for body-mass index and conducting community nutrition classes targeted at small groups of residents.

Major Funding: N/A

Profit/nonprofit: Nonprofit

Annual Revenue: N/A

Interesting fact about how they are working to positively affect the food system: There are about 27 million Americans suffering from type-2 diabetes and another 86 million in pre-diabetes. Eating habits that can lead to diet-related diseases such as diabetes have psychological roots. The American Obesity Foundation places great emphasis on the importance of behavioral health, psychological perspectives, and decision-making abilities in the right against obesity and integrates many of these approaches into their programs.

Location: P. O. Box 310468 Queens, New York, 11431
Core Programs: Community building and advocacy; preventative healthcare; nutrition awareness education; mobile clinics
Number of staff: N/A
Number of community members: 50
Areas served: Underserved communities of New York City’s South East Queens, Far Rockaway, East New York, Bushwick, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Harlem and the South Bronx, among others
Year Started: 2015
Director: Afi Okon
Contact Information: or (800) 684-3263 / (8006)-THE-AOF

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