Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities (HKHC), an initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) from 2008-2014, supported multidisciplinary partnerships in 49 communities across the country to promote changes to local policies, systems, and environments that foster healthy living and prevent childhood obesity. Our final report to the field, Growing a Movement, shares how HKHC increased children’s access to healthy food and opportunities for physical activity through changes in community policies, systems, and environments.
HKHC evolved from RWJF’s Active Living by Design program, in which 25 community partnerships across the country aimed to change the built environment and support public policies to make physical activity part of everyday life.
HKHC broadened this focus to include policy and environmental strategies that would increase access to healthy food as well as to physical activity for children and families at greatest risk for obesity. The program focused on lower-income communities, communities of color, and Southern states, where the risk of obesity was greatest. This was RWJF’s largest community-based initiative focused specifically on reversing the obesity epidemic.
Additional services provided included:
In 2009, nine communities from across the country were funded to implement healthy eating and active living initiatives to support healthier communities for children and families. In 2010, 40 more joined the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities cohort. Efforts by each site focused on reaching children who are at greatest risk of obesity because of their families’ income, race or ethnicity. These communities were:
The final Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities report provides an overview of the 49 partnerships' work to increase children’s access to healthy eating and active living through changes in policies, systems, and environments. Growing a Movement includes common themes, key findings and brief vignettes, along with implications for the field that are valuable for local leaders, partners, and funders.
Transtria LLC (St. Louis) and the Institute for Public Health at Washington University in St. Louis evaluated Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. Transtria’s CEO, Laura K. Brennan, PhD, MPH, led the evaluation team.
The Journal of Public Health Management and Practice just released a supplement highlighting evaluation insights and successes of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities National Program. A special thanks goes to Transtria, the evaluation lead.