5164.0 Healthy Children & Communities through Evidence-based Policy: The Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) Project

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 12:30 PM
The Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation (T-COPPE) is a five-year project to understand how two policies impact physical activity and food availability among Texas children. Specifically, T-COPPE is evaluating (1) the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) program administered through the Texas Department of Transportation; and (2) the program rule revising the federal food allocation package administered through Texas Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, Texas Department of State Health Services. This project draws in expertise from multiple academic centers, state agencies, policy institutes, and community organizations throughout Texas. In addition, the evaluation of these policies provides far-reaching benefits: • creation of a broad-scaled public health system partnership serving as a basis for promotion and evaluation of further state-wide obesity prevention policies; • dissemination of impact and implications to multiple audiences and stakeholders; and • utilization of research findings to identify potential policy solutions in “real time.” The size and diversity of Texas enable us to conduct a rigorous study design among ample numbers of underserved populations, thus indicating how these policies affect different segments of the at-risk population. In addition, the T-COPPE project presents a comprehensive opportunity not only to examine how new policy initiatives impact health-related factors but also a model of collaboration to study factors affecting the policy implementation process itself. Project coordination, collaboration, and communication are essential for a smooth, efficient, and accurate evaluation approach that takes advantage of the unique strengths of each partner within Texas. Session Proposal/Description: For this presentation, we will highlight the functional pieces of this multi-faceted project—the collaborative process and partnership development among “atypical” state-wide partners—as well as baseline data. In addition, we will elaborate on the multiple aspects of the project, including not only the SRTS and WIC Food Package information but also our in-depth approach to assessing the walkability/bikeability of the school environment as we strive to complete the picture. Finally, we will provide details as to how we use our “real time” data and lessons learned to inform and educate the Texas Legislators, thus prompting legislative successes that can create healthy communities throughout the state of Texas. Promoting healthy communities is a complex puzzle, requiring depth, breadth, and flexibility of approach and activity. The uniqueness of this project addresses all of these factors through the following: • the depth of evidence we are collecting; • the multi-dimensional approach to impacting the health of our communities; • the willingness to share our tools to build similar skills in other communities; and • the focus on “real time” dissemination of lessons learned throughout the project period to policy and community stakeholders.
Session Objectives: 1. Describe strategies used for a comprehensive evaluation of safe routes to school programs in a diverse state 2. Assess baseline data on active transport to school and grocery store food availability from the Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation 3. Describe the process of incorporating data from the Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation into the legislative process in Texas and examples of initial legislative successes
Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH
Celeste Torio, PhD, MPH

12:50 PM
Factors associated with children's active transport to school: Baseline data from Safe Routes to School policy evaluation
Tiffni Menendez, MPH, Alexandra Evans, PhD, Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS and Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH
1:10 PM
Examining the Effects of Differing Allocation of Funds for Safe Routes To Schools on Parent Attitudes and Behaviors
Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS, Diane Dowdy, PhD, Alexandra Evans, PhD, Tiffni Menendez, MPH, Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH and Donna Nichols, MSEd, CHES
1:30 PM
Using school environmental audits to inform policy action for obesity prevention
Chanam Lee, PhD, MLA, Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH, Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS, Diane Dowdy, PhD and Hyung Jin Kim, MLA
1:50 PM
Building the Evidence Base for Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Decisions: The Texas Childhood Obesity Prevention Policy Evaluation Project
Diane Dowdy, PhD, Deanna Hoelscher, PhD RD LD CNS, Marcia G. Ory, PhD, MPH, Donna Nichols, MSEd, CHES, Klaus K. Madsen, MPH and Camille D. Miller

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Community Health Planning and Policy Development
Endorsed by: Maternal and Child Health

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)