244505 Building the Evidence Base for Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Decisions: The Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation Project

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 1:50 PM

Diane Dowdy, PhD , Social and Behavioral Health Department, Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS , Michael & Susan Dell Center for Healthy Living, University of Texas School of Public Health, Austin Regional Campus, Austin, TX
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH , Social & Behavioral Health, Texas A&M HSC School of Rural Public Health, College Station, TX
Donna Nichols, MSEd, CHES , Directors of Health Promotion and Education, Washington, DC
Klaus K. Madsen, MPH , Texas Health Institute, Austin, TX
Camille D. Miller , Texas Health Institute, Austin, TX
Purpose: T-COPPE is evaluating state-level implementation of two key national obesity prevention policies in Texas: the Safe Routes to School program and the WIC food package. This study will: 1) inform decision makers about the effectiveness of these policies, and 2) help local, state, and national policymakers identify policies for promoting children's healthy eating and increased physical activity.

Methods: A multi-pronged support and dissemination system was developed with key elements including: Involvement of critical stakeholders and partners to allow collaboration and identify resources to build infrastructure; Establishment of the Texas Obesity Policy Research Advisory Council to provide health policy research, translation, evaluation and dissemination support; Creation of a strategic communications plan to provide focus and benchmarks for monitoring success and outlining timely policy forum opportunities; and Utilization of research finding to inform policy makers as to potential policy solutions.

Results: T-COPPE is on track with planned activities. These include: 1) invited testimony to Texas legislative committees on the state of obesity in Texas; 2) providing testimony to the Institute of Medicine on Childhood Obesity; 3) three policy forums involving state legislators and staff; 4) annual Texas Obesity Awareness Week events at the Texas Capital; and 5) filing of a Complete Streets Bill in the Texas legislature supported in part by research findings from T-COPPE SRTS data.

Conclusion: T-COPPE presents a comprehensive opportunity not only to examine how new policy initiatives impact health-related factors but also to study factors affecting the policy implementation process itself.

Learning Areas:
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
1. To describe the model used to create a collaborative process and partnership development for evaluation and implementation of state policy; 2. To describe the incorporation of data from TCOPPE into the legislative process in Texas, including some initial legislative successes.

Keywords: Community Building, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am program director for this project and have overseen other programs involving physical activity, healthy food options, children, and aging populations.
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.