“Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities created a lasting impact in dense urban areas, in rural towns, in neighborhoods with immigrants from many nations, and in multi-county regions.”—Sarah Strunk, Active Living By Design
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities: Supporting Community Action to Prevent Childhood Obesity
Dates of Program: February 2008 to August 2014
Description: Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities supported multidisciplinary partnerships in 49 communities across the country to promote changes to local policies, systems, and environments that foster healthy living and prevent childhood obesity. The program focused on lower-income communities, communities of color, and Southern states, where the risk of obesity was greatest.
The 49 communities either had or formed a multi-disciplinary partnership to lead their work. Partners included community-based organizations, government agencies, businesses, elected/appointed officials, civic organizations, and community members.
Transtria LLC conducted qualitative and quantitative evaluations of Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities.
The evaluations by Transtria found that:
- Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities contributed to sustainable policy changes in areas ranging from small communities to entire cities, counties or regions. The community partnerships helped create:
- 715 policy and practice changes to improve access to healthy affordable food
- 576 active living policy and practice changes to increase safe physical activity options in urban, suburban, and rural areas
- 828 built environment changes—417 related to healthy eating and 411 on active living.
- 61 combined healthy eating and active living policy and practice changes
- Active transportation, child care nutrition standards, and parks and play spaces showed the greatest potential to create change. Corner stores also had a high potential to create changes in neighborhoods with high-risk populations, but fewer community partnerships used this strategy.
- The 49 communities raised more than $140 million in cash and in-kind contributions, more than four times RWJF’s $34.7 million investment in Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities.
Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities helped create 2,180 healthy eating/active living policy/practice changes.
Real Results from the Field
This series of videos documents the work done in three Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities—Central Valley, Calif.; Chicago, Ill.; and Louisville, Ky.