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Top 18 Childhood Health & Nutrition Nonprofits Identified by the Experts

"About a quarter of 2-5 year olds and one-third of school-age youth are overweight or obese in the U.S. This can lead to negative health outcomes both in the short and long term." -- Food Research and Action Center

The issue of childhood obesity and related health outcomes is a national concern. From the White House to the individual home, there a variety of initiatives related to overall fitness and that effort continues to grow. Over the course of the past several years nonprofits have worked to tackle this issue from a variety of perspectives.

Recently, Philanthropedia surveyed 98 experts working in the field of childhood health and nutrition with an average of 15 years of work experience in the field to identify those organizations that were making the biggest positive impact in the field.

Philanthropedia’s experts, including funders, researchers, nonprofit senior staff, consultants, etc., identified 18 top nonprofits (out of 150 total reviewed nonprofits) making an impact at the national and multi-state level. Below is a graphical representation of who participated in our research. You can also see who our experts were by clicking here.

childhood health

Which nonprofits were among the top?

National childhood nutrition/health experts were asked to recommend nonprofits focused on access to healthy foods and drinks in schools, nutrition education, physical activity programs and policies in or out of schools, access to safe play spaces for kids in their communities, access to healthy and fresh foods for kids in their neighborhoods, media campaigns to promote health and nutrition for kids, and more. These nonprofits might focus on different kinds of activities such as policy, research, advocacy, direct services, education, etc. The primary focus of this research was not on food deserts, public transit, or helping local farmers or other for-profit organizations.

The following is the list of the expert-identified nonprofits best achieving their mission in the sector. Click the link to visit each organizations profile and read expert reviews. Experts have commented on each nonprofit’s impact, other organizational strengths, and how each organization could further improve.

  1. Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)
  2. The Food Trust
  3. Alliance for a Healthier Generation
  4. Rudd Center for Food Policy & Obesity
  5. Philanthropedia_TopNonprofit_2013_hi_resAmerican Heart Association
  6. Food Research & Action Center (FRAC)
  7. Partnership for a Healthier America
  8. PolicyLink
  9. ChangeLab Solutions
  10. Prevention Institute
  11. National Farm to School Network
  12. California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA)
  13. Action for Healthy Kids
  14. Share Our Strength (SOS)
  15. The Pew Charitable Trusts
  16. Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest)
  17. California Food Policy Advocates
  18. Wholesome Wave

We invite you to visit the profiles of each of these top organizations on our website to read the expert reviews here. Experts commented on the impact each nonprofit has had, what the nonprofit’s other organizational strengths are, and how each organization could further improve.

And don’t forget to check out our other new rankings of high-impact nonprofits in the areas of educational support for at-risk youth in Minnesota, reproductive health, rights, and justice, and workforce development.

We invite your feedback. Please tell us what you think and what experiences you’ve had with these great organizations! You can reach me at

Topics: Impact