239050 Evaluation Strategy for School Based Nutrtition and Physical Activity Obesity Prevention Environmental Change

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 8:45 AM

Maryann Mason, PhD , Pediatrics/CMRC, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Christina Welter, DrPH, MPH , Deputy Director, Prevention Services, Cook County Department of Public Health, Oak Forest, IL
Background: Suburban Cook County Illinois received funding for an obesity prevention policy, systems and environment (PSE) change project through the Communities Putting Prevention to Work (CPPW) program administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Purpose: The project focuses on evaluation of school policy, systems and environmental changes to promote healthy vending and increasing physical activity (PA) in the school day. Both these intervention areas include a variety of policy, systems and environmental change strategies. For example healthy vending strategies may include decreasing "unhealthy" items available in vending, lowering prices of "healthy" items, and or changing access or availability rules. Adding PA to the school day may include initiating or extending recess, adding activity breaks to classroom settings, professional development for PE staff, extending PE class time and or revising PE curricula.

Significance: The project provides in-depth multi-level evaluation tied to a large national investment in obesity prevention policy.

Methodology: The evaluation tracks environmental and student level behavior changes for multiple vending and school day PA strategies as well as a sample of demographically similar comparison schools. Data collection includes environmental (food access/pricing and access to PA time/space) and student behavioral (food intake, PA time) measures.

Findings/Results: The presentation will describe the range of policy, systems and environmental changes engaged in, share an innovative evaluation strategy and its tools and present baseline evaluation data.

Recommendations: Multi-level methods are needed to capture environmental and behavioral change leading to health outcome changes in school settings.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Describe a range of environmental strategies for obesity prevention in school settings Design a multi-level evaluation strategy for school based obesity prevention policies

Keywords: School-Based Programs, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am lead evaluator on this project. Primary responsibilities include project development and management. I have over ten years of experience in policy research.
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.