St Joseph Health System Foundation Supports MOMS Orange County Childhood Obesity Prevention Efforts

MOMS Orange County received $50,000 for its Childhood Obesity Prevention—Early Intervention Project from the St. Joseph Health System Foundation.  The grant award is part of the St. Joseph Health System Foundation’s Wellness and Prevention Initiative and will support expanded breastfeeding education for low-income mothers and their babies.

“As a faith based organization, we want to ensure that the communities we serve are among the healthiest and that can’t be accomplished if the youth of our communities are facing obesity rates at epidemic levels,” states Gabriela Robles of St. Joseph Health System Foundation. “We have committed to focus on combating this issue by providing necessary resources and programs that will center on reaching the communities we serve throughout Orange County.”

Elements of childhood obesity prevention are central to MOMS Orange County programs in the form of helping pregnant mothers decrease their risk of gestational diabetes, managing blood sugars if they are diabetic, promoting breastfeeding and proper nutrition during their infant’s first year of life, and promoting infant play activities.  Studies have shown that breastfeeding reduces risk of diabetes for children later in life and exclusive breastfeeding can reduce the risk of childhood obesity.  Through the support of the St. Joseph Health System Foundation, MOMS Orange County will provide breastfeeding classes, support groups, home visits and telephone consultation for breastfeeding issues.

“MOMS Orange County believes that our role in Childhood Obesity Prevention begins during the mother’s pregnancy.  If we can help identify the warning signs of diabetes or help a mother initiate preventive measures as early on as possible, we can help the incidence of childhood obesity decrease,” said Pamela Pimentel, CEO of MOMS Orange County, “We are grateful to the St. Joseph Health System Foundation for supporting these efforts through their Wellness and Prevention Initiative.”