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Research Project

Policies for Action Healthy Eating and Physical Activity Research Hub

Principal Investigator
Investigators, Multiple
Start Date
End Date


Nearly 13 million children and adolescents are considered obese, with rates significantly higher for Hispanic and non-Hispanic Black as compared to White children and adolescents. Key contributors to child/adolescent obesity are lack of activity and excessive intake of solid fats and added sugars. Public policy strategies have been shown to be effective population-level strategies for changing systems and individual-level outcomes, including improvements in the food and physical activity environments and related individual outcomes.

This center examines policy implementation efforts and/or policy impacts on child and/or adolescent obesity and related outcomes. Three primary studies will be conducted: (1) quantitative study of the impact of the USDA school meal and smart snack standards on cross-sectional changes to children and adolescent’s dietary intake over time using 24-hour dietary recall data from NHANES; (2) qualitative study of the implementation of state and local healthy food financing initiatives nationwide and how the policy language may lead to unintended on-the-ground implementation strategies; and (3) qualitative and quantitative examinations of the impact of state and/or local-level pay-to-play policies and laws on creating disparities in opportunities for engaging in school sports programming among children and adolescents.

We also will conduct one to two small-scale evaluation studies of implementation of Voices for Healthy Kids policy strategies.

Co-Principal Investigators

Jamie F. Chriqui, PhD, MHS (UIC)
Amy A. Eyler, PhD, CHES (Washington University at St. Louis)

Funding Source

Policies for Action (P4A), a signature research program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (Grant No. 73758)

Research Partner(s)

Healthy Eating Research

Washington University at St. Louis

Related Publication(s)

Eyler AA, Piekarz-Porter E, Serrano NH. Pay to Play? State Laws Related to High School Sports Participation Fees. J Public Health Manag Pract. 2019 May/Jun;25(3):E27-E35. doi: 10.1097/PHH.0000000000000813.