Evaluating the Impact of the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Program Reorganization on the California Public Health System

Year: 2013
Funding: Mentored Researcher Development Award
Status: Completed

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This study examines the implementation and impact of recent policy changes within California’s federally-funded Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention (NEOP) program that decentralized key funding and administrative mechanisms from the state to the local government level. The changes give local health departments greater decision-making authority and discretion over how program funds are used within local communities, along with an enhanced ability to support obesity prevention activities beyond nutrition education, including policy, environmental and systems change strategies. Through a systematic literature review on decentralized public programs, local health department interviews, and information collected by the state, Dr. Wu describes local health departments’ NEOP program implementation including the resources used, and their selection of policy, environmental and systems change interventions. By assessing the benefits and challenges of centralized vs. decentralized program administration, she develops recommendations for maximizing the effectiveness of the statewide obesity prevention program.




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Researcher: Helen Wu, Ph.D., M.S.
Research Mentor: Kenneth Kizer, M.D., M.P.H.