Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD) Project

Project Description

The Childhood Obesity Research Demonstration (CORD) Project is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the Harvard School of Public Health, Massachusetts General Hospital for Children/Harvard Medical School, the National Initiative for Children’s Health Care Quality and the cities of Fitchburg and New Bedford. Funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CORD aims to reduce the number and percentage of children ages 2-12 years who are overweight or obese, and decrease the prevalence of chronic disease associated with unhealthy eating and lack of physical activity.

To meet these goals, the CORD team in Massachusetts implemented evidence-based strategies in multiple sectors in two communities, Fitchburg and New Bedford, through an initiative called Mass in Motion Kids (MiM Kids). MiM Kids built on Mass in Motion, a successful statewide public-private partnership that provides municipal wellness and leadership grants to cities and towns to support policy, systems and environmental approaches to promote healthy eating and physical activity. Through MiM Kids, community partners in schools, child care centers, afterschool programs and community health centers implemented previously evaluated programs shown to be effective in influencing the key behaviors CORD seeks to impact:

  1. Decrease in children’s consumption of sugar-sweetened beverage
  2. Increase children’s moderate & vigorous physical activity
  3. Decrease in screen time & TV’s in children’s bedrooms
  4. Increase children’s sleep duration & quality
  5. Replacement of calorically-dense or nutritionally poor foods with fruits and vegetables

The team at the Harvard School of Public Health has overseen implementation of the school sector interventions (including curricula developed by HSPH researchers), support for school wellness policies, and curriculum, the school media competition and policy and environmental change in afterschool settings.  HSPH researchers also have primary responsibility for evaluating the school, afterschool and child care interventions and work closely with Department of Public Health evaluators on the design and implementation of the overall evaluation plan for the MiM Kids project.

Team Leads: Steven Gortmaker, PhD and Kirsten Davison, MS, PhD (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)
Funder: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Funding Dates:  September 30, 2011 – September 29, 2015
Contact: Steven Gortmaker