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UW Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research Network (UW NOPRN)

The University of Washington was awarded a three-year grant from CDC to establish a network of academic, public health, agriculture, and community stakeholders to plan and conduct research that will inform policy activities of nutrition and obesity prevention efforts in the state. The UW NOPRN is one of five Prevention Research Centers (PRC) including Harvard, NYU, Tulane and Texas A&M that together form the national NOPRN. The network will be coordinated by the PRC at Harvard. Each of the five NOPRN centers has identified a specific pilot project, and opportunities for collaboration among the projects are being identified.

UW NOPRN’s pilot project will take advantage of the different approaches taken by three county health departments — Seattle/King County, Thurston County and Tacoma-Pierce County — in Washington State to address the quality of food in quick service restaurants. The project will explore the most effective actions that public health can take to address this aspect of the food system and the contextual and political barriers and enhancers of nutrition and obesity policies.  A series of key informant and in-depth interviews will be conducted and a community report will be prepared and shared with invited stakeholders as part of a “safe table” event where all perspectives will be discussed and recommendations about the role of state and local health departments will be elicited.

Partners

The multidisciplinary UW NOPRN Leadership Team represents several UW departments and centers, state and local public health and agriculture departments, statewide coalitions, advocacy groups and community organizations. The team will generate innovative policy research ideas, ensure that research projects address inequalities and underlying determinants of lack of access to healthy foods, help prioritize research projects to ensure their utility to communities and provide input on the feasibility of proposed research projects.

Target Audience

Academic, public health, agriculture, and community stakeholders

Scope

Washington State

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