Monitoring and Evaluating Policy and Environmental Interventions to Halt and Reverse the Childhood Obesity Epidemic in the United States

Research Question
We are conducting a series of activities to critically examine actual and hypothetical policy and environmental interventions designed to halt, and eventually reverse the obesity epidemic among children and youth in the US. We are conducting a series of monitoring and evaluation activities, developing tools and analyses to improve our understanding of the forces driving the obesity epidemic, as well as forecasting future trends.

Modeling Approach
We are translating the ACE-obesity work of our Australian partners to identify cost-effective options for policy and environmental changes for childhood obesity prevention in the US. Interventions being evaluated include 1. An excise tax on sugar sweetened beverages 2. Policy to eliminate tax deductibility of TV advertising for "nutritionally poor" foods and beverages seen by children and adolescents 3. State policy requiring more K-5 PE to devote at least 50% of PE class time to MVPA 4. Policy to improve nutrition and physical activity in child care settings. RA's have drafted four intervention papers; economic evaluation protocol developed; interventions clearly specified; logic pathways established; data sources identified; modeling to BMI in progress; costs identified; preliminary implementation filter analysis conducted; extensive consultation with Working Group members; BMI to DALYs model recalibrated for USA; Working Group meetings held.

Principal Investigator

Steve Gortmaker, PhD
Professor of the Practice of Health Sociology
Harvard School of Public Health


Y Claire Wang, PhD MD
Assistant Professor
Columbia Mailman School of Public Health

Boyd Swinburn, MBChB MD FRACP
Chair in Population Health

Marj Moodie, PhD
Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics

Rob Carter, PhD
Chair of Health Human Services Economics Deakin University
Melbourne, Australia