Online Program

Measuring policy, system, and environment changes for healthy eating, physical activity, and obesity prevention in California SNAP-Ed

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 :

Sharon Sugerman, MS, RD, Research & Evaluation, Public Health Institute Center for Wellness and Nutrition, Sacramento, CA
Lauren M. Whetstone, PhD, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California, Nutrition Policy Institute, Sacramento, CA
For the first time in 2014, local health departments (LHDs) in California used policy, system and environmental (PSE) strategies to prevent obesity with funding from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed). LHDs included PSE strategies as part of comprehensive nutrition education and obesity prevention approaches in low-income communities. At the California Department of Public Health, 12 priority PSE strategies were identified and core evaluation indicators, which were aligned with indicators in the USDA SNAP-Ed Western Region Evaluation Framework, were defined using the RE-AIM (reach, effectiveness, adoption, implementation, maintenance) framework. The evaluation data were aggregated across 47 LHDs for each of the 12 PSE strategies. The most frequently reported PSE strategies were healthy retail (19 LHDs working in a total of 70 stores), community/school gardens (15 LHDs working in 65 gardens), and school wellness policies (11 LHDs working in 52 schools or districts). Across the PSE strategies, at the majority of sites, PSE work was integrated with at least two of the following: nutrition education, marketing, staff training, or community involvement. Other indicators included estimated total and SNAP-Ed reach, the number and types of partners and community members engaged in PSE work, and the specific types of environmental changes that were made at each site. Findings will be presented that demonstrate how using this evaluation and reporting approach allows for more comprehensive understanding and documentation of the impact of PSE interventions.

Learning Areas:

Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice

Learning Objectives:
Describe a strategy for evaluating and reporting policy,system, and environment changes for healthy eating and physical activity at the state level.

Keyword(s): Obesity, Evaluation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead evaluator for policy, system, and environment change evaluation at the California Department of Public Health under an interagency agreement with the University of California. I have served as principal investigator and have published work related to policy and environment change to support obesity prevention.
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.