Probart Receives Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

July 6, 2006

(University Park, Pa)— The Penn State College of Health and Human Development has been awarded a three-year, $397,150 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) through its Healthy Eating Research national program, which explores how federal, state and local school food policies can help prevent childhood obesity, especially among low-income and minority populations who have the highest risk for being overweight. The research project, in which Dr. Claudia Probart, associate professor of nutritional sciences will serve as the principal investigator, was one of 14 grants awarded nationwide.

image of Dr. Claudia Probart

Dr. Probart will examine factors associated with successful development and implementation of new, federally required school wellness policies to address childhood obesity. “Schools are being given a unique opportunity to play a leadership role in helping the nation address the issue of childhood obesity through development of wellness policies. This funding by RWJF will allow us to identify the factors that are most effective in creating environments for healthy children,” she said.

Dr. Probart has more than 30 years of experience in conducting nutrition education and research projects. She and her research team have implemented an eleven-year school nutrition environment campaign, Project PA, that represents a collaboration with the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Dr. Probart and her teamís most recent efforts with this campaign resulted in the creation of over 100 new or greatly expanded school breakfast programs through Pennsylvania providing breakfast for thousands of Pennsylvania children. She was also the principal investigator of a project involving the assessment of the sales of competitive foods in high schools in Pennsylvania that was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation focuses on the pressing health and health care issues facing our country. As the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, the Foundation works with a diverse group of organizations and individuals to identify solutions and achieve comprehensive, meaningful and timely change. For more than 30 years the Foundation has brought experience, commitment, and a rigorous, balanced approach to the problems that affect the health and health care of those it serves. When it comes to helping Americans lead healthier lives and get the care they need, the Foundation expects to make a difference in your lifetime. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org.

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Editors: Dr. Probart can be reached at (814) 865-7054 or ckp1@psu.edu. For additional information, please contact the College of Health and Human Development Office of College Relations at (814) 865-3831 or healthhd@psu.edu.