San Diego, Calif., July 3, 2012 — The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have announced the launch of the Childhood Obesity Challenge, a competition that aims to promote creative and innovative solutions to childhood obesity outside the standard framework of scientific research publications.
The UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) partnered with AJPM to develop the online platform for the Challenge, and the editorial offices of AJPM are based at Calit2.
The Challenge is open to individuals or teams from any sector. Participants will submit a brief proposal describing their entry in the competition, with the option of including supplementary videos, images, apps or other media related to the entry. Following submission, these proposals and related materials will undergo peer review by AJPM reviewers.
“The Childhood Obesity Challenge is a one-of-a-kind approach to accelerate scientific communication about a problem of pressing public health importance — essentially new media meeting new challenges,” said AJPM Editor-in-Chief Kevin Patrick. “A leading scientific journal and a leading health foundation are teaming up to make this happen, which makes the Challenge innovative both in terms of partnerships and approach.”
The submissions will be evaluated for innovativeness, efficacy in the real world and potential breadth of impact by an eight-member judging panel. Cash prizes totaling $5,000 will be awarded to the top entries, including $2,500 for the winning team or individual. The winners additionally will be recognized in AJPM’s online and print publications.
"Researchers, clinicians and policymakers all are seeking innovative and effective approaches to addressing this critical public health problem," said former AJPM Editor-at-Large Bill Silberg, who helped to develop the framework for the obesity challenge. "Providing a new mechanism for soliciting such ideas, under the auspices of leading scholarly journal, can only advance professional dialogue about preventing and treating obesity and hopefully lead to promising new interventions in the process."
The judging panel consists of Harvard Business School Senior Lecturer Jose Alvarez; New York City Health Commissioner Thomas Farley; Brookings Institution Senior Fellow and Director of the Center on Social Dynamics & Policy Ross Hammond; GPS Capital Partners principal and co-founder Lisa Richter; Global Policy Solutions CEO Maya Rockeymoore; UC San Diego School of Medicine Professor James Sallis; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Eduardo Sanchez and University of Minnesota School of Public Health Professor and Senior Associate Dean Mary Story.
To highlight the importance of creating solutions for childhood obesity that have popular appeal, participants also will be encouraged to compete for the Popular Choice Award, which will be given to the submission receiving the most votes on the Challenge’s website. The Popular Choice winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize and, like the entries selected by the judging panel, will be recognized in AJPM’s publications.
The deadline for submitting entries to the Childhood Obesity Challenge is 5 p.m. EDT Aug. 15, 2012. To submit an idea for reducing childhood obesity, or to learn more about the competition, visit http://ajpmchallenge.calit2.net/.
Tiffany Fox, (858) 246-0353, firstname.lastname@example.org