Partner Resources

Websites and Toolkits

Exercise is Medicine
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (webpage)

Fitness Forward
California Fit Business Kit

Materals SWAP – a resource for local and free social marketing materials

Strategic Alliance  – Promoting Healthy Food and Activity Environments -The Alliance’s goal is to benefit the health and wellness of all California residents by promoting environmental solutions and institutional and government policies and practices that support healthy eating and activity. The Strategic Alliance focuses its promotion of healthy eating and activity environments through five key sectors: Children’s Environments, Government, Industry Practices, Health Care System, Media.

Official California Legislative Information This site is maintained by the Legislative Counsel of California, pursuant to California law. Look up senate and assembly bills, their status, history, and full text.

YMCA Pioneering Healthier Communities Lessons and Leading Practices Report (PDF)

Creating Safe Places for Play –
In partnership with the Berkeley Media Studies Group, the Prevention Institute proudly announces the launch of a new interactive website dedicated to helping create safe places for children in all communities to play and be active. By showcasing successes as well as the problem, provides the tools and resources advocates need to launch successful joint use agreements, allowing for shared use of public spaces like schools with community members once schools are closed.

Leadership for Healthy Communities Action Strategies Toolkit (PDF)
Working in close collaboration with 11 influential policy-maker organizations, Leadership for Healthy Communities developed this toolkit to equip state, municipal, county and school leaders with promising and evidence-based policy approaches designed to improve children’s health and reduce childhood obesity. This comprehensive resource includes strategies in 10 policy areas, lists of key stakeholders, tips on how to start programs, and examples of policies that states and communities have implemented successfully. It is prefaced with an unequivocal leadership statement signed by executive directors from each of the 11 participating policy-maker organizations.This statement underscores the organizations’ recognition that childhood obesity is a national problem and reflects their commitment to work collaboratively across levels of government to build healthier communities.

Leadership for Healthy Communities, a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, works to support local and state leaders nationwide in their efforts to promote healthy, active communities and access to affordable, healthy foods.

For more information about the Action Strategies Toolkit or about Leadership for Healthy Communities, please visit www.leadershipforhealthycommunities.orgor contact the deputy director, Laura Ojeda, at 202-265-5112 or

One Small Change Handouts
Prepared by: Community Forum for Perinatal Health, a collaboration of organizations in Alameda County. 2008
Materials are available in English, Chinese, and Spanish for youth, teen, adult, and pregnant populations.

Healthy Halloween Tools

Healthy Halloween Treats – English (PDF)
Healthy Halloween Treats – Chinese (PDF)
Healthy Halloween Treats – Spanish (PDF)

Reports and Research

The toxic truth about sugar (PDF) – February 2012
Big Sugar’s Sweet Little Lies – October 31, 2012
The Sweet Lowdown: Exposing the Unhealthy Truth About Sugar – January 2013
A Trial of Sugar-free or Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Body Weight in Children (PDF) October 11, 2012
A Randomized Trial of Sugar-Sweetened Beverages and Adolescent Body Weight (PDF) October 11, 2012
Doctor’s fight against sugar – SF Chronicle, January 1, 2013

A Penny-Per-Ounce Tax On Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Would Cut Health And Cost Burdens Of Diabetes (PDF)

The Toxic Truth About Sugar (PDF)
Still Sour Sugar Politics vs. Health and the Economy (PDF)
Obesity Disparities (PDF)
Prepared for the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality by Lisa Simpson, MB, BCh, MPH, FAAP

Addressing Disparities in Childhood Obesity (PDF)
Prepared for the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality by Elizabeth Goodman, MD, FAAP, FSAM

Healthy People, Healthy Places: Directions for Improving Community, Individual, and Economic Health (PDF)
Priorities for the Transition to the New Administration
Prepared by Prevention Institute and PolicyLink
Kristine A. Madsen, MD, MPH; Wendi Gosliner, MPH, RD;
Gail Woodward-Lopez, MPH, RD; Patricia B. Crawford, DrPH, RD

Physical Activity Opportunities Associated With Fitness and Weight Status Among Adolescents in Low-Income Communities (PDF)

KP Community Benefits (PPT)

Priority of Activity-Friendly Community Issues Among Key Decision Makers in Hawaii (PDF)
Jay E. Maddock, Bill Reger-Nash, Katie Heinrich, Kevin M. Leyden, and Thomas K. Bias
Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 2009, 6, 386-390
© 2009 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Thanks to the efforts and dedication of ExCEL and the site coordinators and program leaders at six SFUSD elementary schools: Guadalupe, ER Taylor, Sunset, Buena Vista, FS Key, and Yick Wo, UCSF completed its study on the impact of the SPARK curriculum on child health. Below is a synopsis of the results. The final report will be available shortly.

Summary of the major findings:

All students increased their physical activity during and after school, over the 5-month study period. At follow-up, students in SPARK and control schools achieved, on average, 52 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity while in SFUSD programming (during and after school), which is 85% of recommended total daily activity levels.

It does not appear that use of the SPARK curriculum increased physical activity in the after school setting. SPARK schools did not show greater increases in objectively measured physical activity (looking at the accelerometer data) than control schools. We believe this is because all of the PEP coordinators made strong efforts to keep kids physically active, with or without SPARK. In general, kids in all schools ­ both SPARK and control ­ participated in similar activities in the after-school setting.

Nonetheless, students exposed to the SPARK curriculum were more likely to feel that they had increased their levels of physical activity, and to express greater enjoyment in physical activities such as playing ball or dancing.

Weight status remained stable, although the prevalence of obesity declined slightly in SPARK schools. While we would like to see weight status improve among all children, it is heartening that children were not becoming overweight or obese during the study period.

Fitness, as measured by the 20-meter shuttle test, declined in both SPARK and control schools. It may be that children put less effort into the fitness test at follow-up, or, if fitness truly declined, it could be that the activities kids were doing both during and after school weren¹t vigorous enough to increase their fitness.

Childhood Obesity is a Serious Concern in New York City (PDF)

Higher Levels of Fitness Associated with Better Academic Performance

F as in Fat 2009: How Obesity Policies are Failing in America (PDF)

The Built Environment: Designing Communities to Promote Physical Activity in Children (PDF)
This policy statement highlights how the built environment of a community affects children’s opportunities for physical activity.

Cost Effectiveness of Community-Based Physical Activity Interventions (PDF)
Am J Prev Med 2008;35(6):578–588
Physical inactivity is associated with the increased risk of many chronic diseases. Such risks decrease with increases in physical activity. This study assessed the cost-effectiveness of population-wide strategies to promote physical activity in adults and followed disease incidence over a lifetime.

Neighborhood Greenness and 2-Year Changes in Body Mass Index of Children and Youth (PDF)
Janice F. Bell, PhD, MPH, Jeffrey S. Wilson, PhD, Gilbert C. Liu, MD, MS. Am J Prev Med 2008;35(6):547–553
Available studies of the built environment and the BMI of children and youth suggest a contemporaneous association with neighborhood greenness in neighborhoods with high population density. The current study tests whether greenness and residential density are independently associated with 2-year changes in the BMI of children and youth.

Prevalence of Obesity Among US Preschool Children in Different Racial and Ethnic Groups (PDF)
Anderson, S. & Whitaker, R. (2009). Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2009; 163(4):344-348.

Neighborhood built environment and income: Examining multiple health outcomes (PDF)
Sallis, J.F., et al., Neighborhood built environment and income: Examining multiple health outcomes, Social Science & Medicine (2009), doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2009.01.017

Learning to Play and Playing to Learn: Organized Sports and Educational Outcomes (PDF)
Written by Ann Rosewater and published by Team-Up For Youth, February 2009
This report examines data on the impact of organized sports on the academic and intellectual achievement of students.

California Study Finds Low-Income Teens More Likely to be Overweight than Higher-Income Peers
A new policy brief released by the Center for Health Policy Research at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) suggests that teenagers from low-income households are three times more likely to be obese than teens from higher-income families, United Press International reports.

The Potential Impact of Menu Labeling of Fast Foods in California
A white paper released by University of California’s Center for Weight and Health and the California Center for Public Health Advocacy (CCPHA). The white paper shows that posting calorie information on menu boards at fast-food restaurants could help Californians avoid more than two pounds of weight gain per year and allow the state as a whole to avoid millions of pounds annually.

The anatomy of the safe and social suburb: An exploratory study of the built environment, social capital and residents’ perceptions of safety (PDF)
by Lisa Wood, Tya Shannon, Max Bulsara, Terri Pikora, Gavin McCormack, Billie Giles-Corti

Neighborhood Disorder, Perceived Safety, and Readiness to Encourage Use of Local Playgrounds (PDF)

by Rebecca Miles, PhD

Study Suggests BMI, Not Waist Circumference, Best Predictor of Early Cardiovascular Disease Risk Among Children (webpage)

A study in the September 2007 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that body mass index(BMI) is a more accurate proxy for cardiovascular disease risk among children than waist circumference.

“This presentation, by Dr. James S. Marks, MD, MPH, director of the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, describes the serious public health and social consequences of chronic diseases and their related risk factors within our current health care infrastructure”
Slide Presentation Link (webpage)