248400 Environmental and policy approaches to preventing obesity and reducing health disparities: The final evaluation results from two community-based obesity-prevention initiatives in California

Tuesday, November 1, 2011: 10:50 AM

Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Lisa Craypo, MPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Liz Schwarte, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Maria Boyle, MS, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sally Bullock, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Mariah Lafleur, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Sallie Yoshida, DrPH, RD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Rajni Banthia, PhD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
The California Endowment (TCE) was the first foundation in the nation to pioneer a policy-driven and locally based approach to preventing obesity among children and adults in low-income communities. The underlying theory driving TCE's approach was that improved nutrition and increased physical activity would occur as a result of creating access to healthier environments, thereby preventing childhood and adult obesity and reduce health disparities. Since 2005, two initiatives—TCE's Healthy Eating Active Communities program (HEAC) and Central California Regional Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP)— representing 14 low-income communities and counties, combined community innovation with statewide policy and advocacy. The investment has resulted in a strong statewide movement to promote healthy environments and public policy to address inequities. The synergy across sectors and jurisdictions has helped to change public opinion, engage policymakers and public officials, engage the business community and build a strong base of support. The two initiatives have played a major role in accelerating the obesity prevention movement within California and at the national level. This session will present the final 5-year evaluation results for HEAC and CCROPP. The end-point evaluation findings demonstrate that low-income communities had an impact on food and physical activity environments, that improvements occurred in access to healthy foods and physical activity, resulting in improvements in health behaviors. Given the nationwide interest in multi-sector approaches to preventing obesity in low-income communities through CPPW and other initiatives, this session will offer information and lessons learned to policymakers, program developers, community organizations, advocates, and the public health community.

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

Learning Objectives:
Describe the approaches taken by the two initiatives and models for replication. Demonstrate the impact of program strategies on community environments and child and adult outcomes in low-income communities. Discuss evaluation design and methodological challenges of evaluating community-based obesity-prevention programs.

Keywords: Obesity, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Senior Associate at Samuels & Associates. I managed the HEAC and CCROPP evaluations that will be discussed during the session.
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.