Online Program

Childhood Obesity and Health Equity. Applying a lens of Targeted Universalism to Youth Obesity Policy and Advocacy efforts

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:30 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

Jennifer White, State Advocacy, Voices for Healthy Kids, American Heart Association, Dallas, TX
Many disparities can be found within the childhood obesity epidemic, and this is particularly severe in communities of color. More than 39 percent of Latino and African-American children and adolescents ages two to 19 are overweight or obese, compared with about 28 percent of White children. Where kids learn, live and play are significant contributing factors to the current high rates of overweight and obesity among children in the U.S. Significant disparities also exist in access to healthy foods and safe places to play.

Voices for Healthy Kids, a  joint initiative between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the American Heart Association, was developed to strengthen and support state and local advocates by advancing evidence-based childhood obesity policy in order to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015.  In designing the Initiate and to address health disparities in the initial program design,  Voices for Healthy Kids has applied a targeted universalism approach to policy and advocacy campaign work. 

In its simplest definition, targeted universalism alters the usual approach of universal strategies (policies that make no distinctions among citizens’ status, such as universal health care) to achieve universal goals (improved health), and instead suggests we use targeted strategies to reach universal goals. During this presentation we will highlight the core components of our approach which include, development of targeted policy frames, place-based advocacy efforts, diverse stakeholder engagement, audience-specific resources, training, development of a special opportunity incubator, and targeted communication approaches.  We will discuss initial program success and lessons learned in the newly developed program.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Evaluate initial program success and lessons learned in the initiative.

Keyword(s): Advocacy, Obesity

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the Health Equity Partnerships Manager for Voices for Healthy Kids, a joint initiative of the American Heart Association and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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.