Dr. Antronette Yancey, a professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, has received a Pioneering Innovation Award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She received the award for Instant Recess, a program that helps prevent obesity and promote health through 10-minute, easy-to-do exercise breaks. One of seven recipients nationwide, Yancey accepted the award in the category of Community Mobilization during the CDC’s Weight of the NationConference in Washington, D.C. on May 8.
created by Yancey nearly 13 years ago, consists of dance- and sports-themed movements scientifically designed to maximize enjoyment and energy expenditure, while minimizing injury risk and perceived exertion in the average sedentary, overweight individual. The program has been implemented in collaboration with public health advocates, community-based organizations, businesses, government agencies, media outlets and sports and fitness professionals. A library of more than 50 Instant Recess CDs and DVDs has been produced, including American Indian powwow, Latin salsa, Appalachian talking dance, cumbia, reggae, hip hop, line and African dance, along with basketball, baseball, football, boxing and soccer.
The Pioneering Innovation awards, according to the CDC, "recognize the need for a variety of approaches to reverse the high rates of obesity, particularly among certain racial and ethnic groups." Winners were selected from more than 90 applications by an awards panel of representatives from public health organizations.
"We are excited about the impressive group of award recipients and the commitment each has made to programs and policies that achieve measurable impact in preventing obesity," said Dr. William H. Dietz, director of CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity. "There is much focus on what individuals can do to improve their health, and while that is important, we must remember our nation’s health is also strongly affected by environmental changes that result from the collective efforts of all sectors of society."