NAE Vice President Galen Carey joined the Southern Baptist Convention and other faith groups in encouraging governors to adopt state programs to reduce childhood obesity.

Dear Governor,

We are writing to you as national leaders of America’s faith community to strongly urge you to implement Coordinated School Health (CSH) statewide to address the childhood obesity epidemic. As a result of our work with the Campaign for Healthy Kids and Faith United to End Childhood Obesity, a consensus has grown to prioritize the implementation of CSH across the country.

The Coordinated School Health model was developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to provide communities with a framework for managing new and existing health-related programs. CSH maximizes the benefits of health and wellness programs for all children through community partnerships with businesses, faith-based organizations, foundations, educational institutions and medical/health professionals.

Tennessee is recognized as a national Coordinated School Health leader. Tennessee’s CSH successes include a 2 percent decrease in childhood obesity rates. In 2008-2009, 8,000 fewer children were classified as overweight and obese compared to the previous year. Great strides were made in improving the quality of food and drinks sold in schools and Tennessee has been recognized nationally for these improvements. This coordinated approach has also led to unprecedented community partnerships crucial to building support and sustainability for the model. Tennessee is funded through bi-partisan efforts to support optimal health for children that translate into reduced obesity rates, improved attendance, improved academic performance, decreased high school dropout rates and enhanced economic outcomes for the state. Tennessee is investing in its children and their future. We believe that the successes of Tennessee’s Coordinated School Health approach can be replicated and we encourage you to invest in the children of <<STATE>>.

More than one-third of our nation’s children are overweight or obese. Over the past four decades the obesity rates for children ages 6 to 11 have quadrupled. The childhood obesity epidemic poses a real threat and is leading to a generation of children that will have shorter life spans than their parents. National faith leaders are actively engaged in efforts to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by encouraging all states to implement a comprehensive CSH model. We do not want the futures of our faith communities defined by children succumbing to obesity related illnesses like cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, osteoporosis and social and psychological problems.

Please support statewide implementation of Coordinated School Health as a first step in stemming the tide of childhood obesity in <<STATE>>. Children are our future and we must unite in efforts to address the plague of obesity. CSH promotes healthy lifestyles for our children, including promoting healthy eating and increasing opportunities for physical activity, which can lower the risk of becoming obese and developing related diseases. We hope and pray you will hear our call.


James Winkler
Chair, Faith United to Prevent Gun Violence
General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist Church

Dr. Richard Land
President, Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Southern Baptist Convention

Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker
Director, Social Action Commission, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Kaye Edwards
Director of Family and Children’s Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the U.S. and Canada

Galen Carey
National Association of Evangelicals

Matthew Ellis
Executive Director, National Episcopal Health Ministries

Marlene Feagan
President, Health Ministries Association

Reverend Dr. Deborah L. Patterson
Executive Director, International Parish Nurse Resource Center

Dr. Walter L. Parrish, II
Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of the South

Rabbi Steven Wernick
Executive Vice President and CEO, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Rabbi Shawn Zevit
Director of Congregational Services, Outreach and Tikkun Olam
Jewish Reconstructionist Federation

Bryan W, Sickbert
President & CEO, Council for Health and Human Service Ministries, United Church of Christ

Eileen W. Lindner
National Council of Churches of Christ, USA

Clare Chapman
National Council of Churches of Christ, USA

Gilbert Hanke
General Secretary, General Commission on United Methodist Men

Martha Bettis Gee
Associate for Child Advocacy and Networking, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

Lynn Magid Lazar
President, Women of Reform Judaism

Robin E. Cohen
Interim Executive Director, Women of Reform Judaism

Cynthia Bobach
Moderator, 219th General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Grady Parsons
Stated Clerk, Presbyterian Church (USA)

Katia Reinert
Director, Adventist Health Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-Day Adventists

Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabia Akram
President, American Muslim Health Professionals

Sister Carol Keehan
President and CEO, Catholic Health Association of the United States

Debra W. Haffner
Executive Director, Religious Institute

Father Larry Snyder
CEO, Catholic Charities USA

Michael Kinnamon
General Secretary, National Council of Churches of Christ, USA

Richard Skolnik
President, United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism

Sayyid M. Syeed
National Director, Office for Interfaith & Community Alliances, Islamic Society of North America

Mark S. Hanson
Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America

Dr. Carroll A. Baltimore, Sr.
President, Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc.

Darrel Billups
Executive Director, National Coalition of Ministries to Men