An unprecedented alliance of civic, health, business and education leaders have committed to improving the health of Hoosier children by launching Jump IN for Healthy Kids, a community-wide initiative to reduce childhood obesity in Central Indiana. After eighteen months of research and planning, Jump IN for Healthy Kids was created by a group of civic and business leaders to be the catalyst for evidence-based best practices that will measurably improve the health of children in Indiana. In an exclusive extended radio interview on Afternoons with Amos, Ron Gifford, CEO of the new effort and Dr. Virginia Caine, Co-Chair of the group’s Leadership Council talked about the goals and objectives of Jump IN for Healthy Kids. Also joining in the conversation, former City-County Councilman and media personality Lonnell “King Ro” Conley. Recent data support Jump IN leaders’ urgent call to action. To give some examples: Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents in the past 30 years; Minority and low-income children are disproportionately affected; 60-65 percent of obese children will grow up to become obese adults; Medicaid data show that annual health care costs for an obese child average $6730, nearly three times the average cost for all children. Indiana spends $1.6 billion per year in overall obesity-related medical costs – and the figure is rising; Nationwide, estimates of obesity-related costs for decreased productivity top $225 billion per year. Funded initially by its founding corporate, foundation and non-profit partners, Jump IN will focus its efforts on school-based initiatives, employer wellness, public education and awareness, training of health professionals, shared policy agendas and integrated, community-based health pilots. Working through multiple task forces aligned with these focus areas, Jump IN will engage a broad and diverse array of community groups to promote data-driven strategies to achieve its goals. Click Media Player to Hear Amos’ Conversation about the problems of childhood obesity and the new efforts of Jump IN for Health Kids. Runs 28 Minutes ©2014 WTLC/Radio One.