199014 Lessons Learned in Cross-Sectoral Coalition-Building and Policy Change around Childhood Obesity Prevention

Tuesday, November 10, 2009: 1:30 PM

Rodney Lyn, PhD, MS , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Michael Eriksen, ScD , Institute of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA
Childhood overweight is a complex problem that has posed a daunting challenge to the public health community. Although the etiology of overweight remains unclear, it seems reasonable that the causal factors are numerous. Efforts to mitigate the prevalence of overweight, therefore, must utilize a comprehensive socio-ecological approach which encompasses an amalgam of perspectives, expertise, and strategies.

Established in 2004, Policy Leadership for Active Youth (PLAY) is a policy research initiative aimed at identifying evidence-based strategies to increase physical activity, decrease sedentary behavior, and prevent childhood overweight. PLAY is a unique collaborative effort between three state research universities and other partners in Georgia. PLAY serves as a focal point for policy development by engaging state agencies, organizations, and not-for-profits in the formation of a statewide leadership council, which serves as the nucleus for organizing a partnership constituency to promote healthy weight, nutrition, and physical activity policies and practices in Georgia. PLAY's accomplishments include sustained engagement of 30+ organizations in childhood obesity prevention, advocating for the establishment of a state level health/physical education coordinator and the updating of state health/PE curriculum standards, and the development of childhood obesity prevention legislation. PLAY has navigated barriers to collaboration and policy changes at various levels. The presentation will review the process utilized in establishing and maintaining a broad-based coalition, provide data on coalition members' perceptions and satisfaction, and highlight lessons learned around coalition-building and state-level policy change.

Learning Objectives:
- Identify a process for developing a broad-based coalition to focus on childhood obesity prevention - Identify opportunities and barriers to inter-organizational collaboration around childhood obesity prevention - Identify effective advocacy strategies for policies related to childhood obesity prevention

Keywords: Coalition, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter is project director and co-principal investigator for the intiative.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.