WASHINGTON — The W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Pan American Health and Education Foundation (P.A.H.E.F.) on May 25 launched a Health Promotion and Obesity Prevention program to address the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity in Yucatan, Mexico. The P.A.H.E.F. in the program’s initial phase will work with public partners, private partners and local community representatives to implement a community-based participatory research project to study and develop a program in 13 Yucatan municipalities.

The initial research phase is expected to conclude in August. The combined prevalence of overweight and obese school children in Yucatan is about 36% among both sexes.

“With support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, we hope to gain greater insight into how to successfully implement a program that will not only reverse this trend in the Yucatan, but will serve as a model program that can be replicated in other parts of Latin America facing the same crisis,” said Richard Salvatierra, vice-president for business development and projects at the P.A.H.E.F., a public charity based in the United States that works with the Pan American Health Organization and other partners in the Americas. “This is a great beginning to a program that can potentially reach hundreds of thousands of children and families throughout the region.”

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has grants concentrated in the United States, southern Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.