In Mississippi, nicknamed “the hospitality state,” you’ll find plenty of Southern hospitality in addition to scenic landscapes along the Mississippi Delta and country-style culinary favorites. Lesser known is that it ranks as the second most obese state in the U.S. for children.
The significant racial and ethnic disparities that exist in obesity prevalence among American children are pronounced in Mississippi’s diverse communities: More than 37 percent of the state’s residents are Black or African American. Additionally, more than 1 in 5 of Mississippi’s nearly 3 million residents lives below the poverty level,* posing additional challenges to accessing the resources kids need to grow up healthy.
The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, thanks to support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The JPB Foundation, is working with communities throughout the state to make it easier for kids to lead healthier lives.
*Source: The U.S. Census Bureau
Our Work in Mississippi
In Mississippi, we’re making it easier for kids to develop healthy habits.
More than 420 schools serving over 220,000 students across the state have joined Healthier Generation's Healthy Schools Program, creating healthier school environments for children to thrive. Since 2007, nine Mississippi schools have been recognized with National Healthy Schools Awards for their outstanding efforts.
In Mississippi, we’ve also made it easier for more than 1,200 youth in 14 out-of-school time programs to eat right and move more through our Healthy Out-of-School Time initiative.
As part of our work to reduce calorie consumption along with the country’s three largest soda manufactures, each beverage company is committing to focus its efforts at the community level and specifically in communities where there has been less interest in and/or access to options that help community members reduce their calorie intake. Communities within the Mississippi Delta are among the first to see those changes.
Hear from school champions from just two of the many districts we work with in Mississippi: North Bolivar Consolidated School District (formerly Mound Bayou Public School District), enrolled with the Healthy Schools Program since 2011; and Vicksburg Warren School District, enrolled since 2011.