Studying the impact of the Healthy Schools Program on students' body mass index as a measure of obesity

This project will evaluate the effects of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation-funded Healthy Schools Program on changes in obesity in California. The program has fostered school policies and environmental changes, but its impact on childhood obesity has not been studied. The program enrolled 225 California schools that receive on-site technical assistance, while 527 more schools participate through online access to technical assistance. The project will use an interrupted time series design to analyze body mass index (BMI) data from 2005 through 2012 for all public school students in fifth, seventh and ninth grades. The study will assess average BMI and prevalence of obesity and overweight at the school and district levels and before versus after introduction of the program. The study will include a variety of covariates known to affect these outcomes and will assess whether longer participation in the program and the on-site model are associated with greater change. Finally, it will assess which changes in policy and environment most impacted obesity. Deliverables will include an analytic frame that can then be used to assess other initiatives that may have changed California's health-related policies and environment; a white paper and issue briefs for posting on the Foundation website; and professional presentations and publications.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $68,429.00

Awarded on: 1/24/2013

Time frame: 1/15/2013 - 6/30/2014

Grant Number: 70668


University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health

50 University Hall, Suite 7360
Berkeley, 94720-7360


Kristine A. Madsen
Project Director