2021 - 4th Quarter



COVID Lockdowns & Unprecedented Obesity Levels

Help FORWARD Help DuPage!


Obesity has been a severe public health crisis for years - and now it’s getting worse. A new report published by the CDC shows a surge in childhood obesity rates have reached unprecedented levels during the pandemic. During this timeframe, children and adolescents spent more time away from structured school settings, and some families faced disruptions in income, food, and other social determinants of health. As a result, children and adolescents experienced increased stress, irregular mealtimes, less access to nutritious foods, increased screen time, and fewer opportunities for physical activity. 


All these factors correlate with an increase in weight and adverse outcomes of COVID-19 including increases in hospitalizations, increases in intensive care services, long-term health complications, and mortality. While the severity of COVID-19 increases with age, genetic factors and blood type, things we can’t control, it also increases with things we can control through our behaviors. 


FORWARD DuPage helps DuPage County communities understand the importance of food choices, physical activity, sleep and stress reduction. 

  • We provide communities across DuPage County with access to health and wellness resources. 
  • We train and support childcare providers, pre-schools, home visiting staff and schools to provide and promote environments for children to learn healthy habits. 
  • We work with municipal leaders and local governments to improve the environment and make it easier for people of all backgrounds to make healthier choices.


Never before has the need been so great. Please consider making a donation to help FORWARD DuPage reduce obesity, increase healthy programming for our residents, and build a healthier DuPage County by decreasing the negative outcomes of COVID-19. 


Please click the button below to make your donation and join us in our fight against obesity. Every dollar counts!






Resources, Resources, Resources!




Healthy Lifestyles in the News

Adolescents' breakfast habits affected by socio-economic and gender inequalities, study finds.




Study: Diabetes rates in adolescents nearly doubled since 2001.




CDC: Kids gained weight during COVID-19.




Heart healthy adults have lower lifetime risk of Type 2 Diabetes.




If you want to support the health and wellness of kids, stop focusing on their weight.




Ranking the healthiness of foods from first to worst.




New childcare investments to support parents and providers.




On World Mental Health Day, a renewed movement towards equitable care.




Unraveling the mystery of why we overeat.



Upcoming Opportunities



Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity

Annual Meeting: Advancing Health in Illinois


Tuesday, October 19

1:30pm to 4:30pm


Network with partners from across the state supporting the health of Illinoisans. Discuss policy implementation around health equity, nutrition/food systems, build environment, lactation support and more for your community. Register here.



Action for Healthy Kids

Facilitating Family-School Partnerships at the School Level


Wednesday, October 20

2:00pm to 3:00pm


Learn about the best way to develop trust and open lines of communication between school staff and parents/caregivers. Register here.



Supporting Family-School Partnerships at the District Level


Wednesday, October 27

2:00pm to 3:00pm


Learn about the best way to develop trust and open lines of communication between district staff and parents/caregivers. Register here.



NourishEd Food Access & Healthy Eating: Strategies & Tools for Families & Caregivers


Thursday, October 28

11:00am to 12:00pm


Learn more about nutrition education and promotion at home, school meal opportunities, federal meal requirements and strategies for supporting healthy eating at home. Register here.



Connected for a Cause: Mental Health and Well-Being Community Panel


Tuesday, November 9

6:15pm to 7:15pm


Anxiety, depression, thoughts of suicide, feelings of being alone; due to COVID, families are struggling now more than ever before with their social and emotional health. The time to talk is now. Register here.



The Resiliency Institute

Pumpkin Night Hike for Families


Saturday, October 23


Use pumpkins or lanterns to light your way on a self-guided night hike through Fullersburg Woods. $10 per person ages 3 and up. View available times and register here or at 630.933.7248.



Forest Hikes


October 23 - November 29

8:30am - 10:00am


Get some healthy exercise and enjoy the wonders of a DuPage forest preserve on a guided 3- to 5- mile hike. Ages 18 and up. $5 per person. View dates/location and register here or call 630.206.9630.



Volunteer Restoration Workdays


October 23 - December 20


Help improve a forest preserve by collecting seeds or removing nonnative plants. View dates/times/location and register here or call 630.206.9630.




Harvest Against Hunger


Saturday, October 23

11:00am to 2:00pm


Celebrate 10 years of guaranteeing access to fresh produce in Chicago’s Western Suburbs. Purchase tickets here.

Illinois Department of Transportation

State Funds Survey


Survey Closes

Wednesday, October 27


The goal of the survey is to demonstrate why the state selects one project over another. Access survey here.



Illinois Alliance to Prevent Obesity

Roundtable on Obesity Solutions


Systems & Obesity: Advances & Innovations for Equitable Health & Well-Being

Thursday, October 28 - 9:00am to 1:45pm

Friday, October 29 - 12:00pm to 3:00pm


This workshop will explore how to advance strategies for sustainable systems-wide changes that leverage the three drivers. (biased mental models/social norms, structural racism, and health communications). Register here.



The Conservation Foundation

Forest Therapy Walks


October 28 - November 20


Immerse yourself in nature and experience the healing effects of forest therapy or Shinrin-Yoku. View dates/times and register here.



Meetup of Downers Grove

Health Optimization in a Toxic World


Tuesdays at 6:45pm

November 9 & December 14


We owe it to ourselves to use natural means to maintain and restore our health. Click links above to register.


Annual Conference


Thursday, November 18

7:30am to 4:00pm


Staying Alive: Surviving, Thriving, and Moving On… Find more information and register here.



Acumen Academy

Food Systems Fellowship


Application Deadline

Wednesday, December 1


With support from The Rockefeller Foundation, this funding will support builders who embrace a systems-based approach to navigate the complexity of food systems. Apply here.



Impact DuPage

Community Survey


Survey Closes

Wednesday, December 1


The survey assesses community themes and strengths to better understand DuPage County. Access survey here.

Active Transportation Alliance

Annual Meeting


Thursday, December 2

6:00pm to 7:00pm


Meet your Active Trans supporters/staff and learn about accomplishments from the past year. Read more here.










Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Evidence of Action (E4A) Call for Proposals


Applications Due on Rolling Basis


E4A funds research that expands the evidence needed to build a Culture of Health. A Culture of Health is broadly defined as one in which good health and well-being flourish across geographic, demographic, and social sectors. Click here to apply.



Be an Agent of Change


The challenges facing children and families to support healthy lifestyles will take the combined passions, expertise and influence of many. If you're reading this message, you are one of those influencers. Join us in our mission:

Donate - Too many families don't have access to the services and resources they need to stay healthy. Every dollar will support FORWARD DuPage's work to build capacity in communities where the need is great and the resources are too few.


Sign-Up - Join our coalition of thousands of partners so we can drive change for children and families and improve healthy lifestyle outcomes together.

Share Our Message - Spread the word about the impact we have had on our website or on the social media links at the bottom of the page.


Do you subscribe to the IMPACT DuPage Newsletter?

Impact DuPage is a county-wide initiative of partner organizations working to influence change in the areas of affordable housing, access to health treatment, behavioral health treatment, substance abuse and healthy lifestyles. FORWARD is Impact DuPage’s vehicle to help influence residents and partners to make positive choices regarding nutrition, physical activity, and the built environment

to advance health status improvement.


For more details and to stay up to date on local progress, click here and subscribe to their twice a month newsletter. 


Help Us Get the Word Out!

Do you know of an upcoming event or health fair in DuPage County?


5-4-3-2-1 Go!® is a public education message with recommendations for children and families to promote a healthy lifestyle.

  • 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  • 4 servings of water a day
  • 3 servings of low-fat dairy a day
  • 2 or less hours of screen time a day
  • 1 or more hours of physical activity a day

For helpful resources and ideas for your DuPage County organization click here.


If you are interested in distributing health and wellness materials at an upcoming event call 630.221.7550 or email healthpromotions@dupagehealth.org or Tonia Batogowski at toniabato@gmail.com


We would like to thank our funders!






FORWARD DuPage | 324 South Julian Street, Naperville, IL 60540

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Tonia Batogowski  


773.720.2389 phone