December 2009

Grant Results


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held its second National Summit on Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control on June 18–20, 2008. The summit addressed the applicability and relevance of four core elements of legal preparedness:

  • Laws and legal authorities
  • Competencies to apply those laws and authorities
  • Coordination of efforts across jurisdictions, sectors and settings
  • Public health law best practices for obesity prevention and control

The organizers convened legal and subject matter experts to assess the current status of the four core elements, to identify significant gaps in implementing them in obesity-focused practice, and to prepare a shared, National Action Agenda of practical steps practitioners and policy-makers can take to improve the contribution law makes to obesity prevention and control in six areas:

  • Increasing physical activity
  • Increasing initiation and duration of breastfeeding
  • Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables
  • Decreasing consumption of high-energy density, low nutritional value foods
  • Decreasing consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages
  • Decreasing television viewing

Key Results

  • The CDC exceeded its goal of recruiting 230 participants to the National Summit.
    • The experts produced the National Action Agenda, which consisted of eight papers by legal experts and obesity experts paired as authors. The American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethic's Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics published the papers in June. The papers were published in two sections: Public Health Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control: Status of Core Elements
    • Options for Improving Public Health Legal Preparedness for Obesity Prevention and Control
  • The CDC planned to distribute the National Action Agenda at conferences, in webinars and as part of regional dissemination meetings in 2009.

After the Grant
The project staff created a law track to discuss the use of law as a tool to prevent and control obesity at the 2009 Weight of the Nation conference, the CDC's inaugural conference on obesity prevention and control. Actionable options presented in the National Action Agenda were planned for inclusion in regional dissemination meetings held after the Weight of the Nation conference.

In addition, The CDC worked with the National Conference of State Legislators to create a compendium of state laws and authorities for obesity prevention and control.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided a $46,800 grant for the project. The CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity and the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion also provided support for the project.

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Support for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) national summit on legal preparedness for obesity prevention and control


National Foundation for the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (Atlanta,  GA)

  • Amount: $ 46,800
    Dates: June 2008 to December 2008
    ID#:  064550


Alicia S. Hunter, J.D., M.S.W.
(770) 488-5797

Web Site

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Report prepared by: Molly McKaughan
Reviewed by: Marian Bass
Program Officer: Angela K. McGowan

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