Success Stories From the California Endowment’s Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs

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California Endowment

The California Endowment has compiled information about obesity prevention programs that work and found that the successful initiatives included after-school programs, community involvement through workshops and information sessions, and safety networks. Programs that promote overall community health were also essential.

Baldwin Park, Calif., established a “Healthy Teens on the Move” campaign to help promote healthy foods in corner stores near schools, where students stop by for snacks. A committee of high school teens and the Healthy Eating, Active Communities (HEAC) program worked with eight local stores by posting “Healthy Selections” logos and advertisements to promote healthy eating.

In Chula Vista, a group of high school students worked to initiate the redesigning and renovation of parks that had become run down – through gang or illegal activities – in order to promote more physical and safe activity outside. Walkways were added, bushes were trimmed and fences were shortened to expose hidden areas. Additional picnic tables also were built. A community watch and safety network of parents and students was created to help “keep an eye out” on children playing outside or going to school.

Other successful obesity prevention programs included an after-school gardening program for at-risk youth in the Modesto City School District, the use of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) system in the Merced Flea & Farmers Market in Central Valley, menu labeling in Mercado La Paloma and setting up markets on school grounds in Oakland.

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