The Healthy Communities Study: How Community Programs and Polices are Related to Children’s Health

SEP 25

On September 25, the National Collaborative on Childhood Obesity Research (NCCOR) will host a Connect & Explore webinar titled, “The Healthy Communities Study: How Community Programs and Polices are Related to Children’s Health.”

Across the United States, communities are implementing programs and policies to address the childhood obesity epidemic. These programs and policies vary widely in their approaches; however, previous studies have not examined these variations and their effects on childhood obesity outcomes. To better understand these variations, the Healthy Communities Study (HCS) was designed to assess the associations between characteristics of community programs and policies and BMI, nutrition, and physical activity in children in grades K-8. During a 6-year period, the study collected data from community members, schools, families, and medical providers. These data suggest that children tend to have a lower body mass index (an indicator of weight status) when living in communities with policies and programs that target physical activity and nutrition behaviors through efforts that are longer in duration, reach more children, and include policy and environmental changes. The HCS results also suggest that targeted investments in community programs and policies can contribute to the improved nutrition and physical activity of children.

The webinar will provide a brief overview of the HCS; highlight several findings from the study recently published supplement in Pediatric Obesity, “The Healthy Communities Study: Examining Community Programs, Policies and Other Characteristics in Relation to Child Weight, Diet, and Physical Activity”; and discuss opportunities to expand community programs and policies that can improve children’s health.

Join us on Tuesday, September 25, at 3:00 p.m. ET, for the one-hour webinar. Guest speakers include:

  • Sonia Arteaga, PhD, Program Director, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, National Heart, Lung, Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health
  • Stephan Fawcett, PhD, MA, Senior Advisor, Center for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas
  • Russell Pate, PhD, Director, Children’s Physical Activity Research Group, Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina
  • Lorrene Ritchie, PhD, RD, Director, Nutrition Policy Institute, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Register today to receive webinar access. The event is free, but attendance is limited.

Invite a colleague, and please consider sharing this information on your social networks using the hashtag #ConnectExplore. We will live tweet the event at @NCCOR. For those who cannot attend, the webinar will be recorded and archived on