impact assessments are important tools for guiding the development and implementation of policies and programs. Panelists discussed existing measures for monitoring the reach and impact of the strategies used by state, local, and municipal policy makers and the sorts of data that can be used to track the progress of policy initiatives.
Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of Global Policy Solutions and program director of Leadership for Healthy Communities (LHC), discussed efforts of the LHC program to reach policy makers about ways to promote healthy eating and physical activity, with a particular emphasis on reducing childhood obesity. Laura Kettel Khan, senior scientist for policy and partnerships, Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), spoke about community strategies and measures in obesity prevention. Amy A. Eyler, associate research professor, George Warren Brown School of Social Work and Prevention Research Center, Washington University in St. Louis, described efforts of the Physical Activity Policy Research Network (PAPRN) to foster research collaboration. Jamie Chriqui, senior research scientist, Health Policy Center, Institute for Health Research and Policy, and research associate professor in political science, University of Illinois at Chicago, described approaches to surveillance of public policies. Finally, Brian Cole, program manager and lead analyst, Health Impact Assessment Group, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Public Health, addressed assessment of health impacts.
Presenter: Maya Rockeymoore
Obesity prevention involves “thinking about everything from the types of commercials we watch to the types of foods we have available in our communities to how communities are built, how buildings are constructed, and even how streets and sidewalks are laid out,” explained Rockeymoore. Most of these aspects of life are usually taken for granted, she added, so efforts to reduce obesity entail “systematically calling into question fundamental assumptions about our daily lives.” Doing so requires a broad policy perspective. It is policy makers who are responsible for the laws, regulations, and other factors that affect these aspects of society, she explained, and the LHC program works with national associations of policy makers to help educate their memberships about ways to promote healthy eating and physical activity; as noted, the emphasis of the program is on reducing