Collaborative evaluation of Texas Safe Routes to School and increased healthy food access for WIC clients

The Foundation's initiative, Statewide Evaluations of Childhood Obesity Prevention Policies, was designed to build the evidence base to prevent childhood obesity by evaluating state-level policies that might affect children's access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity.The Texas childhood obesity policy prevention evaluation will examine the impact of two new policy initiatives designed to improve physical activity (PA) and eating behaviors of children at risk for obesity in Texas: (1) the Safe Routes to School (SR2S) program; and (2) the revised WIC food package for children. This project uses a mixed methods approach for evaluation of these policies, and includes community-level, organizational, and interpersonal/intrapersonal measures. The required match is exceeded through its major funding partners: the Texas Department of Transportation and Texas State Health Services WIC Program. Evaluation of SR2S will include a quasi-experimental design to determine the differences in percent of children using active transport and related constructs after four school years. Evaluation of food availability and accessibility as a result of WIC food package changes will be evaluated through pre/post observations at 125 grocery stores throughout the state during the same time period, supplemented with administrative and parent survey data to determine changes in purchasing and consumption behaviors. Findings from this study will be disseminated through a comprehensive policy outreach educational effort including a series of high visibility policy forums and related activities coordinated through the Texas Health Institute and the Live Smart Texas coalition website, to inform future policy implementation and development.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $997,984.00

Awarded on: 6/24/2008

Time frame: 7/15/2008 - 11/30/2013

Grant Number: 64635


University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

7000 Fannin Street, Suite 1200
P.O. Box 20036
Houston, 77225-0036


Deanna M. Hoelscher
Project Director