CATCH Program

CATCH Program

The nationwide prevalence of childhood obesity has grown at alarming rates over the past two decades. And it is no different for those of us here in Linn and Lincoln counties. According to the latest Community Health Assessments (2012 Linn, 2014 Lincoln), 26.99 percent of Linn County and 25.54 percent of Lincoln County youth (ages 0 – 17) can be classified as obese.

Local health care providers, educators, and community service leaders turned their attention to this issue, and selected CATCH as an evidence-based program to educate and influence the children in our community. In 2012, Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital received a three-year $444,334 grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration to implement the CATCH program.

CATCH is a Coordinated Approach to Child Health; the name says it all. CATCH transforms a child’s environment, culture and society by coordinating child health efforts across all aspects of the educational experience: classroom, food services, physical education, and family. CATCH adds healthy eating and physical activity to the school environment and drives the message home to parents through family and community outreach. Teachers like CATCH because it gives them proven expert guidance. Kids embrace CATCH because it’s fun! When schools embrace CATCH, and they fully implement it, it works in the fight against childhood obesity. CATCH reaches preschool through middle school aged children and teaches healthy habits for a lifetime.

CATCH is an affordable evidence-based program. Over 20 years of research have gone into the CATCH program, and it is recommended by the National Institutes of Health, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and many other school and health organizations. CATCH has been proven to reverse childhood obesity for a cost of less than $10 per child per year. Adopted by more than 8,500 schools in the United States and abroad, it is the most widespread coordinated school health program in the world.

Partnering with CATCH was the obvious choice

  • CATCH is the best program proven to reduce child obesity. There is no other program that has the 20 years of evidence and research that CATCH does
  • Of all the published research, CATCH is also the most economical solution; found to be the most cost-effective way to prevent child obesity
  • CATCH is unique in that it coordinates healthy messages throughout the community, and it was designed and proven to work this way. In the school, through classroom, cafeteria, and physical education; in after-school and early childhood centers; community partners and health agencies, all integrating CATCH related messages, and reinforcing healthy behaviors
  • CATCH changes school, early childhood and after school environments. You can see that health and wellness are part of the everyday culture. Teachers, students, staff, administration all participate, and together make CATCH work
  • CATCH students know the value of good nutrition and physical activity. In fact, their healthy behaviors have been proven to last even three years after their CATCH lessons have ended. These kids are more likely to be healthy adults
  • The CATCH model is flexible and sustainable. CATCH implementations are working in large urban and small rural communities all over North America


2016 Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit

The 7th Annual Regional Childhood Obesity Prevention Summit addressed the growing epidemic of childhood obesity in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties. If you would like to learn more about the topics discussed, videos of the keynote addresses and presentation materials from each session are available below.

Keynote address videos:
Watch keynote address from David Nieman, DrPh, FACSM
Watch keynote address from Debra Kibbe, MS

Keynote address materials:
Strategies for combating the epidemic of obesity in American youth, David Nieman, DrPH, FACSM
A mile deep and an inch wide: Strategies for addressing childhood obesity in the next 10 years, Debra Kibbe, MS

Breakout session materials:
Pediatric obesity and chronic disease, Dana Kosmala, MD
Chronic inflammation, systemic health and the future of food as medicine, Ben Williams, LPC
Farm to school and school gardens in Oregon, Rick Sherman
Creating a culture of health, Suzanne Hidde, MS
Growing healthy schools and families: Lessons learned from the GROW Healthy Kids & Communities Project, Kathy Gunter, PhD, and Jenny Jackson, PhD
First do no harm: What children hear about the childhood "obesity epidemic," Therese Waterhous, PhD, RDN

Contact us

If you’d like to learn more about CATCH in Linn and Lincoln counties, email the CATCH program director or call 541-996-7001.



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School-based cardiovascular health promotion: the Child and Adolescent Trial for Cardiovascular Health (CATCH).
(Perry et al., J Sch Health., 1990)

Click here for information on this trial.