Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in Illinois — 62% of Illinois adults are overweight or obese. One in five children are obese, the fourth worst rate in the nation.

Given that obesity and overweight are primary determinants of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, respiratory diseases, and diabetes – already leading causes of death in Illinois – the implications of this epidemic for our state’s health and resources are staggering.  In Illinois, adult obesity alone adds $3.4 billion to annual health care costs, including $1 billion to Medicaid and $800 million to Medicare.

Clearly, it is time for change.  We need policy and public health solutions that match the scope of the problem if we expect to reverse the epidemic in time.

In 2010, IPHI launched and continues to coordinate the Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity (IAPO). IAPO is a statewide coalition comprised of stakeholders working for a state-level response to the obesity epidemic. IAPO works to shape and advance solutions to reverse dangerous obesity trends. IAPO supporters believe that Illinois must respond to the obesity epidemic by developing coordinated systems, policy improvements and investment on the scale of the problem.

IAPO’s goal is to ensure that trends in obesity in Illinois are stable by 2015 and moving downward by 2018 through promotion and adoption of nutrition and physical activity policy and environmental change interventions.

Now comprised of more than 140 organizations and led by a Leadership Council and Steering Committee of healthy eating and active living leaders from across the state, IAPO has produced a State Obesity Action Roadmap, recently refreshed its long-term policy agenda, and adopted new short-term policy goals that will help achieve the Roadmap’s objectives and ultimately the  overall goal.

IPHI supports IAPO to conduct policy advocacy, organize communities, and develop resources and supports for communities, organizations and policy-makers to make changes to policies, systems and environments that affect obesity.

This includes supporting IAPO’s five workgroups:

  • Nutrition in Community and Other Institutional Settings
  • Physical Activity in Community and Other Institutional Settings
  • Childhood Nutrition and Physical Activity in Educational Settings
  • Local Food Systems/ Food Access
  • Obesity Prevention through Clinical Interventions and Access to Care


And helping to develop resources like the new Worksite Wellness Resource Guide.

Visit IAPO’s website,, for more information on how to get involved.