265858 Communities Putting Prevention to Work in Santa Clara County, California: Preventing Obesity through City and Organizational Policies

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mariah Lafleur, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Morgan Jones, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Rajni Banthia, PhD , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Susan Stuart, MA, MPH , Center for Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Jose, CA
Whitney Webber, MS , Epidemiology & Data Management Unit, Santa Clara County Public Health Department, San Jose, CA
INTRODUCTION. Over half of adults and a quarter of youth in Santa Clara County are overweight or obese, which may in part be attributable to limited access to healthy food and physical activity. As part of Santa Clara's CPPW obesity prevention initiative, cities and community organizations in the county were offered grant support, training, and technical assistance to develop policies that promote healthy eating and active living. Collectively, these policies have the potential to impact residents that are hardest hit by obesity.

METHODS. As part of the CPPW evaluation, policy development across various organizations and cities was tracked and analyzed. Evaluators conducted key informant interviews with city and organizational policymakers to learn about the policy development process, and then performed observational assessments in food and physical activity environments that were improved through policy.

RESULTS. Preliminary findings suggest that organizations and cities have identified promising policy strategies that are worthy of replication in other jurisdictions. A range of policies such as nutrition standards, sugar sweetened beverage pricing mechanisms, inclusion of a health element in the general plan, required acceptance of EBT at farmers markets, and active transportation strategies are being pursued. Critical components of success include utilization of collaborative partnerships, access to model policies, promotion by local champions, funding support, technical assistance, and training.

DISCUSSION. Policy is an important vehicle for increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity. The subgranting of CPPW funds to cities helped local communities pursue obesity related policies and may ultimately lead to sustainable environmental changes.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe local policy strategies for increasing access to healthy foods and physical activity. 2. Identify barriers and facilitators of policy change. 3. Explain evaluation methods for assessing local policy development.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I specialize in working with communities to reduce obesity rates and have worked closely with Santa Clara county on this project since it's inception.
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.