Turning great ideas into healthier communities


Engaging Communities in Changing Nutrition and Physical Activity Environments

2009 | Download

The California Endowment’s Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC) program and Central California Obesity Prevention Program (CCROPP) have shifted the obesity prevention focus away from individual behavior change towards policy change and community action.

The programs’ strategies focus on changing food and physical activity environments, in order to make healthy lifestyles a more viable option for children and their families in multiple sectors (schools, after school, neighborhoods and work sites). Community engagement is a cornerstone of the HEAC and CCROPP model of changing nutrition and physical activity environments.

This brief discusses how HEAC and CCROPP are engaging communities and presents promising practices for community engagement demonstrated by grantee achievements. The findings are drawn from community resident and parent focus groups, stakeholder surveys and grantee case studies. It also provides lessons learned that may be useful for similar initiatives, focusing on the importance of community engagement for sustainability over the long run.

Read the report.

This report was written in collaboration by Samuels & Associates, Abundantia Consulting, and the PHI's Partnership for the Public’s Health. It was funded by the California Endowment. 


Sarah Samuels, DrPH; Liz Schwarte, MPH; Zoe Cardoza Clayson, ScD; Maria Casey, MEd, MA

Produced through PHI's:

California Convergence Coordinating Office