Evaluation Design and Implementation for the Childhood Healthy Weight Initiative

Dates: 2010-2011

State: New York

Client(s): Greater Rochester Health Foundation

Services: Health Care & Public Health Planning, Applied Research & Evaluation

Technical Expertise: Chronic Disease Management, Healthy Communities, Maternal and Child Health, Population Health

Being overweight as a child is associated with negative health outcomes, including Type 2 diabetes (previously a disease afflicting primarily adults), high blood pressure, high cholesterol, asthma, joint problems, and gallbladder disease, as well as depression and anxiety. The childhood obesity epidemic in upstate New York and Monroe County mirrors that in the United States at large. The Greater Rochester Health Foundation (GRHF)'s Childhood Healthy Weight Initiative is a multifaceted, 10-year commitment with a single goal: To increase the prevalence of healthy-weight children from 70% to 85% by 2017.

In Phase I, JSI conducted a preliminary evaluation of the Initiative's successes in the past three years and proposed strategies and methods to help GRHF and its grantees collect and assess these outcomes. JSI provided a report summarizing key concerns and proposing a strategy to address them. During Phase II, JSI conducted an expanded evaluation of the Childhood Healthy Weight Initiative. JSI worked with the GRHF and its grantees to improve measurements of Body-Mass Index, one of the key outcome metrics of the initiative. In addition, JSI conducted surveys in suburban schools and early childcare centers, as well as key informant interviews to assess policy and systems change to combat obesity, and analyzed chart review data from well child visits to assess evidence of obesity monitoring and treatment. Final reports were prepared for the Foundation on efforts and progress in suburban schools, childcare centers, clinical practices, and the policy initiative.