Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention (CX3)

California Department of Public Health


The Communities of Excellence in Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Prevention (CX3) is a powerful tool that captures and communicates neighborhood-level data to promote healthier communities. It is designed to provide tools for collecting and measuring food quality, availability, and affordability in low-income communities. Armed with this data, health and nutrition advocates around the state are engaging and inspiring community members and partners to pursue healthy food.

Target Behavior: Healthy Eating, Physical Activity

Intervention Type: PSE Change

Intervention Reach and Adoption

CX3 targets mothers, primary grocery shoppers, and middle and high school youth. It can be used at food retail stores of all sizes, fast food venues, food banks, pantries, emergency food outlets, and the outdoor environment of schools (i.e., anywhere there is a potential food environment).

Setting: Community, Retail, School

Target Audience: Middle School, High School, Parents/Mothers/Fathers

Race/Ethnicity: All

Intervention Components

CX3 includes training and technical assistance, data communication pieces, partnerships, and assessment leading to PSE change. These intervention components provide resources for engaging and inspiring community members and partners to pursue healthy food. Localized data is compiled to evaluate a community’s strengths and weaknesses in relation to CX3 indicators and assets, set priorities based on localized data, implement strategic, community-focused action plans and evaluate progress over time.

Intervention Materials

Community Development tools and resources are available for users to simplify the transition from CX3 assessment to planning and implementation of CX3 related interventions. The CX3 website includes the following materials:

  • Background, information about the indicators, and an outline of the components included in training,
  • Comprehensive training materials, tutorials, and worksheets for orientation, mapping, field surveys, media tracking,
  • Templates for communication with store owners, the community, and the press,
  • Planning tools for implementing CX3 post-survey intervention.

Evidence Summary

Highlights of evaluation results from CX3 implementation include the following:

  • Following CX3 assessment, 11 small grocery stores were recruited into the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch Retail Program; two stores increased their CX3 store survey scores from underachieving to greater than 75 “quality store” goal (FY12-FY13 Orange County).
  • The need for an Arcata community garden was identified at a CX3 community forum in the spring of 2011. The Open Door Community Health Clinic revived the fallow garden with funding they received from a grant (FY11 – Humboldt County).
  • A project engaged food outlets (convenience stores, small markets and grocery stores) to sell a variety of good quality healthy food, including fruits and vegetables; market and promote healthy food options; participate in food assistance programs, and help create a safe and inviting environment around their stores (FY09 – Sonoma County).

Publications, Presentations and Local Results can be found at the following website:

Classification: Practice-tested

Evaluation Indicators

Based on the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, the following outcome indicators can be used to evaluate intervention progress and success.

Readiness and Capacity – Short Term (ST) Changes – Medium Term (MT) Effectiveness and Maintenance – Long Term (LT) Population Results (R)
Environmental Settings ST5 LT5
Sectors of Influence


Evaluation Materials

Field surveys are available to collect in-depth information about what is really going on in the neighborhood related to food access.  CX3 is dedicated to providing all the ingredients to receive high quality data from collection to entry and analysis.  Detailed instructions, protocols and examples in combination with skills-based trainings create the right elements for success can be found at:

Additional Information

Website: The CX3 website ( includes an overview, research tools and methods, communication tools, community development tools, publications, presentations, and relevant links and resources.

Contact Person(s):
Jeffery Rosenhall
California Department of Public Health
Phone: (916) 650-6891