National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN)

Dates of Project: December 15, 2006 through July 31, 2015

Description: The National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity (NPLAN), of ChangeLab Solutions, supports policy innovation and implementation by empowering advocates, practitioners, and decision-makers with expert legal and policy technical assistance. NPLAN attorneys, assisted by a multidisciplinary team of policy analysts, urban planners, and communication specialists, delivered technical assistance to RWJF childhood obesity grantees and other stakeholders, developed and disseminated technical assistance products, and provided trainings on legal and policy issues.

In 2013, NPLAN began providing legal technical assistance to Voices for Healthy Kids, an advocacy initiative to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic launched in 2012 by RWJF, in collaboration with the American Heart Association.

Key Results

  • From January 2009 through January 2014, NPLAN responded to over 2,200 requests for legal technical assistance.  Some 30 percent of respondents reported that at least one issue for which they received technical assistance resulted in a new or revised law, ordinance, resolution, policy or program.

  • NPLAN created a comprehensive array of technical assistance products—toolkits, model agreements, and fact sheets—based on legal research by staff attorneys and consultants.  The documents were organized into RWJF’s five priority areas for advocacy: Healthy Neighborhoods; Healthier Food Environments; Limiting Unhealthy Foods; Junk Food Marketing; and Healthier Schools.

  • NPLAN conducted trainings and convenings on legal and policy issues for RWJF childhood obesity-prevention national programs, other RWJF grantees, and other stakeholders.

“The NPLAN website is a gold mine of documents and it was just a matter of sorting through and finding what would be most useful to us.”—John Bilderback, Step ONE Program Manager, Hamilton, Tenn.