Vanderbilt Institute for Obesity & Metabolism

Tennessee Obesity Taskforce


In 2007, a group of concerned individuals representing both state and local agencies from Tennessee attended the Southern Obesity Summit. Out of this effort, the Tennessee Obesity Taskforce (TOT) was born. 

Mission of Tennessee Obesity Taskforce: to strengthen partnerships and enhance collaboration in order to reduce the burden of obesity in Tennessee using systematic, comprehensive, multidisciplinary, and evidence-based strategies.
In July, 2008, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) funded 23 states for a 5-year period to do the following:
·         Develop and maintain a program infrastructure capable of positioning the state health department in a leadership role for coordinated statewide nutrition, physical activity and obesity strategies.
·         Convene and lead a planning process to develop a state plan for nutrition, physical activity and obesity (“state plan”).
·         Implement a state plan in collaboration with partners.
·         Support and develop capacity for surveillance to monitor the prevalence of overweight, obesity, nutrition quality, physical activity levels, and the program impact to change overweight and obesity related behaviors, particularly nutrition and physical activity.
·         Evaluate progress toward meeting the following objectives: the state plan, the annual implementation plan, the annual cooperative agreement work plan, and the state partnerships.
·         Annually submit success stories and lessons learned to CDC.
 Members of the TOT recognize that it is critical to reduce health disparities related to race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, geography, age, disability, and other populations at risk for health disparities.
 Under the guidance of the Tennessee Department of Health, the Tennessee Obesity Taskforce is engaged in leveraging resources and coordinating interventions with multiple partners to address the following target areas:
1.            Increased physical activity.
2.            Increased consumption of fruits and vegetables.
3.            Decreased consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages.
4.            Increased breastfeeding initiation and duration.
5.            Reduced consumption of high-energy-dense foods.
6.            Decreased screen (TV/Video) time.
If you would like to become involved in the TOT, or receive further information, please contact: joan.a.randall@vanderbilt.edu , 615 936-2909

To learn more about the obesity task force, visit the task force’s web sites: