Examining patterns of state legislation that address childhood obesity

This project will analyze state legislation on childhood obesity enacted from 2003-08 to maximize the impact of the policy-making process in reversing the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015, especially in populations at highest risk. Much of the authority for public health policy lies at the state level; yet despite growing interest in the role of state policy in preventing childhood obesity, and the recent proliferation of state legislative tools and databases to aid researchers in understanding these policy changes, information on the important determinants of the policy-making process is sparse. This project will address these gaps and develop practical tools that researchers can use to build on this work. Deliverables will include: (1) summaries of state childhood obesity bills; (2) a "disparity index" to determine the relationship of a state's legislative response to the prevalence of childhood obesity in the state; (3) analyses of how bill- and state-level factors and legislator characteristics predict whether legislation will be enacted; (4) case studies of the policy-making process in those Southeastern states with high childhood obesity rates; (5) a research guide on analyzing the impact of state legislation and the strengths and weaknesses of existing legislative databases and tools; (6) at least three policy briefs and manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals; and (7) a Web conference on state policy analysis.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $398,480.00

Awarded on: 2/27/2009

Time frame: 4/1/2009 - 9/30/2011

Grant Number: 65559


Washington University in St. Louis, George Warren Brown School of Social Work

Campus Box 1196
One Brookings Drive
Saint Louis, 63130-4899


Ross C. Brownson
Project Director


Amy A. Eyler
Project Director