Online Program

Effectiveness of a national health initiative to reduce childhood obesity in underserved communities through policy change

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 10:50 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Andrew Subica, Ph.D., Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Cheryl Grills, Ph.D., Psychology, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Sandra Villanueva, Ph.D., Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Jason Douglas, Ph.D., Psychology Applied Research Center, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, CA
Ditra Edwards, The Praxis Project, Washington D.C., DC
Low-income communities of color suffer from elevated rates of physical health conditions such as obesity and metabolic disorders that contribute to poor health outcomes and early mortality. Childhood obesity, in particular, strongly contributes to poor long-term health in communities of color, and appears resistant to traditional health interventions that seek to change individual health behavior (e.g., nutrition and fitness programs) versus the underlying community conditions that limit these healthy behaviors. This presentation reports the outcomes of a novel initiative—Communities Creating Healthy Environments (CCHE)—to address childhood obesity in communities of color by altering the community risk factors (e.g., food insecurity, food deserts, problems in the built environment preventing physical activity) that preclude healthy behavior. CCHE supported 21 community-based organizations and tribal groups (grantees) in developing and implementing effective, culturally responsive, community organizing policy programs that capitalized on existing community strengths and overcame substantial barriers to achieve 75 policy wins (mean wins per grantee = 3.57) across 17 communities of color. These policy wins spanned multiple domains relevant to reducing childhood obesity and other ethnic and racial health disparities including promoting: (1) food access (n = 27), (2) recreational access (n = 25), (3) housing/shelter access (n = 6), (4) healthcare access (n = 7), (5) environmental protections (n = 6), and (6) student/resident welfare (n = 4).  The presentation will review the diverse CCHE policy campaigns and policy outcomes using case examples from the first national health promotion initiative to combat poor health in communities of color through social change.

Learning Areas:

Advocacy for health and health education
Diversity and culture
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe the myriad policy campaign outcomes of the CCHE grantees. Articulate how policy wins involving food and recreation equity can imp

Keyword(s): Community-Based Partnership & Collaboration, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have extensive experience conducting community-based participatory research with underserved communities as principal or co-principal investigator in the area of health disparities and psychiatric comorbidities. I have published numerous first-author peer-reviewed publications in medical and social science journals.
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.