California Agriculture Online
California Agriculture Home  >   Volume 61   >   Number 3  >   Viewing Expanded Abstract

Peer-reviewed Article

UCCE helps community coalitions reduce childhood overweight


Gloria Espinosa-Hall, UCCE
Diane L. Metz, UCCE
Margaret C. Johns, UCCE
Dorothy Smith, UCCE
Patricia B. Crawford, UC Berkeley
Kirstin Siemering, University of Wisconsin
Joanne P. Ikeda, UC Berkeley

publication information

California Agriculture 61(3):124-130. DOI: 10.3733/ca.v061n03p124. July-September 2007.

NALT Keywords

California, children, overweight, physical activity


In 2001, UC Cooperative Extension nutrition specialists with the Center for Weight and Health introduced the Children and Weight: What Communities Can Do About It project, with the goal of reducing the prevalence of pediatric overweight. This project was designed to facilitate the formation of community coalitions, and to educate and empower them to improve or create environments that foster healthy lifestyles in children and their families at the local level. The project has been implemented in 13 California counties and by groups across the country. The “Spectrum of Prevention” is featured as a way to address the problem of pediatric overweight from multiple levels, ranging from educating individuals and providers to advocating for systemic and environmental change. Shasta CAN in Shasta County, the Solano County Children and Weight Coalition and the Kern County Childhood Overweight Coalition are presented as models of how coalitions can creatively plan and implement activities across the spectrum.

author affiliations

G.B. Espinosa-Hall is Program Manager, Shasta County Public Health, and was Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Shasta and Trinity counties; D. Metz is Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, UCCE Yolo and Solano counties, and Yolo County Director; M. Johns is Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, UCCE Kern County; D. Smith is Nutrition, Family and Consumer Sciences Advisor, UCCE Amador and Calaveras counties, and Amador County Director; P.B. Crawford is Adjunct Professor, Cooperative Extension Specialist and Co-Director, Center for Weight and Health, UC Berkeley; K. Siemering is Community Programs Coordinator, University of Wisconsin, Madison; J. Ikeda is UCCE Nutrition Specialist Emeritus, UC Berkeley.

author notes

Karen Varcoe, Consumer Economics Specialist, UC Riverside, served as Guest Associate Editor for this manuscript. The Food Stamp Nutrition Education program of USDA funded this project.


[AAHPERD] American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. No Child Left Behind Background Paper, Leadership Development Conference, June 2005. 2005.

[CBO] Congressional Budget Office. S 2507 Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004. 2004.

[CDC] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Kids Walk-to-School: Then and Now — Barrier and Solutions. (accessed Jan. 17, 2006).

Chavis DM. The paradoxes and promise of community coalitions. Am J Community Psychol. 2001. 29(2):20. DOI: 10.1023/A:1010343100379 [CrossRef]

Cohen L, Smith S. The Spectrum of Prevention: Developing a comprehensive approach to injury prevention. Injury Prev. 1999. 5:7.

Fagot-Campagna A, Pettitt DJ, Engelgau MM, et al. Type 2 diabetes among North American children and adolescents: An epidemiologic review and a public health perspective. J Pediatrics. 2000. 136:72. DOI: 10.1067/mpd.2000.105141 [CrossRef]

Kant AK. Reported consumption of low-nutrient density foods by American children and adolescents. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003. 157:96. DOI: 10.1001/archpedi.157.8.789 [CrossRef]

[NCHS] National Center for Health Statistics. Prevalence of Overweight Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 2003–2004. 2007.

Roberts D, Foehr U. Kids and Media in America.. 2004. Cambridge, MA:University Pr.

Troiano RP, Flegal KM. Overweight children and adolescents: Description, epidemiology, and demographics. Pediatrics. 1998. 101:504.

Zakocs RC, Edwards EM. What explains community coalition effectiveness?: A review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2006. 30:61. DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2005.12.004 [CrossRef]