For Immediate Release                                                                                    WXXI logo
Contact: Kristin Tutino, WXXI, (585) 258-0253


Special Edition Airs Friday, October 28 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD

Rochester, New York (October 24, 2011) – In 2010, First Lady Michelle Obama launched a national battle to fight the childhood obesity crisis in America.  But Rochester had already been at the forefront of this battle, when in 2007 the Greater Rochester Health Foundation (GRHF) launched its Childhood Healthy Weight Initiative. In a special edition of Need to Know Rochester, airing Friday, October 28 at 8:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11), WXXI examines whether these efforts are paying off.  

GRHF’s Childhood Healthy Weight Initiative is a multifaceted, 10-year commitment with one single goal: To increase the prevalence of healthy weight children from 70% to 85% by 2017. Investing roughly $6 million in this project, GRHF rallied the community around its efforts. Now, just four years into the initiative, the foundation has gathered initial results from the first three years. Need to Know Rochester host Julie Philipp talks with a group of community members committed to this initiative, as they share the results – some positive outcomes, as well as areas they need to focus on. Philipp also talks to Dr. Stephen Cook, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Leading up to Friday evening’s TV special, WXXI News’ LeShea Agnew presents a two-part report on how pediatricians address the issue of childhood obesity, and how a surge in food stamp usage is being turned into an opportunity in the fight against childhood obesity. Agnew’s reports can be heard Thursday, October 27 and Friday, October 28 during Morning Edition (6 a.m. – 9 a.m.) on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2 and WRUR-FM 88.5. Also, on Thursday, October 27 at 12 noon on AM 1370/FM-HD 91.5-2 GRHF’s Vice President and Chief Program Officer Bonnie DeVinney talks with 1370 Connection’s Bob Smith about what is and isn't working in Rochester's battle against childhood obesity.

The Need to Know Rochester special and radio broadcasts are part of WXXI’s Healthy You initiative, which addresses the issues of child obesity and wellness in Western and Central New York. In partnership with WSKG Public Broadcasting in Binghamton, WXXI hosts televised forums, radio specials, and outreach events around the issues in an effort to inform and engage its communities. To learn more about Healthy You, visit:

These reports and programs are produced in partnership with Need to Know on PBS. Need to Know is made possible by Bernard and Irene Schwartz, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Ford Foundation, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation, The NASDAQ OMX Educational Foundation, James and Merryl Tisch, Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Josh and Judy Weston, The Winston Foundation, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS. Corporate funding is provided by Mutual of America.


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