Studying the Implementation and Outcomes of Policies Relevant for Childhood Obesity


This project is one of five research hubs of Policies for Action Childhood Obesity. It is co-led by. Jamie F. Chriqui at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy and Dr. Amy A. Eyeler at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis. This hub will study the implementation and impact of public policies focused on improving children’s diet and activity levels. Learn more at

Nearly 13 million children and adolescents are considered obese, with rates significantly higher for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black as compared to White children and adolescents. Key contributors to child/adolescent obesity are lack of activity and excessive intake of solid fats and added sugars. Public policy strategies have been shown to be effective population-level strategies for changing systems and individual-level outcomes, including improvements in the food and physical activity environments and related individual outcomes.

This Policies for Action Childhood Obesity Research Hub will examine policy implementation efforts and/or policy impacts on child and/or adolescent obesity and related outcomes. Three primary studies will be conducted:

  1. Quantitative study of the impact of the USDA school meal and smart snack standards on cross-sectional changes to children and adolescent’s dietary intake over time using 24-hour dietary recall data from NHANES.
  2. Qualitative study of the implementation of state and local healthy food financing initiatives nationwide and how the policy language may lead to unintended on-the-ground implementation strategies.
  3. Qualitative and quantitative examination of the impact of state and/or local-level pay-to-play policies and laws on creating disparities in children and adolescents’ opportunities for engaging in school sports programming.

Additionally, we will conduct one to two small-scale evaluation studies of implementation of Voices for Healthy Kids policy strategies.

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