Contextual assessment of the breadth and level of investments made by prevention initiatives to improve nutrition and prevent obesity in Los Angeles County, 2010–2015


Sutton, K.; Clark, S.E.; Thompson, J.; Craypo, L.; Schwarte, L.; Kuo, T.


To better characterize and understand local investments made by prevention initiatives to address poor nutrition and obesity during 2010–2015, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health partnered with an evaluation firm in 2014 to conduct a context scan of nutrition education programs (NEs) and policy, systems, and environmental change interventions (PSEs) in Los Angeles County (LAC). Using fiscal year 2012–2013 (FY12–13) as a midpoint for a before/after comparison based in part on the timeline of the last USDA Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Education (SNAP-Ed) funding cycle, the scan included both SNAP-Ed and non-SNAP-Ed initiatives. Systematic searches of peer-reviewed and grey literature, relevant organizations' websites and materials, and results from 51 key stakeholder interviews, were completed to help develop a context scan database for LAC. Thematic and content analyses of the context scan and interview data generated a “snapshot” of NE and PSE investments in the region. During the sampled period, at least $210 million was invested countywide to combat poor nutrition and obesity. Before FY12–13, 29 NEs and 33 PSEs were implemented. The PSEs included active transportation policies, healthy retail store conversions, and physical activity programming. NEs and PSEs increased to 50 and 98, respectively, after FY12–13. The context scan described the breadth and content of past and ongoing NEs and PSEs implemented by several prevention initiatives in LAC to improve nutrition and prevent obesity. Results suggest opportunities where SNAP-Ed can further tailor NE/PSE resources to address the needs of its target population. © 2019 The Authors


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