PRC Core Research Project


The purpose of the Core Research Project is to develop and disseminate approaches that will increase the use of effective policies at the local-level to reduce obesity disparities and promote health equity.

Project Goals

  • Describe factors influencing policy decision-making for community health at the local-level in a sample of communities experiencing obesity disparities
  • Identify the most important local-level policies for health equity
  • Assess different versions of a policy brief (text-based, risk framing, narrative, and risk framing + narrative) for translation of research about effective policies to address obesity among local policymakers
  • Evaluate the impact of strategies (community stakeholder-informed, and social network-informed) on local policy processes for obesity prevention and health equity in a sample of communities

Implications for Research and Practice

This project will help to better define the local policy process, content, and outcomes, which are fundamental to use of effective policies and poorly understood.

Our project will impact the field by enhancing abilities to: (1) measure implementation of evidence-based policies, (2) understand communication and network drivers in the local policy process, and (3) accelerate the translation of effective policies to local public health policy and practice, thus promoting health equity.

Project Contact

Renee Parks,

Project Staff

Project Partners

PRC Community Advisory Board

Funding Source

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): U48DP006395

Related Resources

Research Data & Supporting Materials
Qual Research: Municipal officials’ perspectives on policymaking for addressing obesity and health equity

Parks, Renee G.; Thomas, Fanice; Morshed, Alexandra B.; Dodson, Elizabeth A.; Tian, Ruiyi; Politi, Mary C.; Eyler, Amy A.; Thomas, Ian; and Brownson, Ross C., “Qual Research: Municipal officials’ perspectives on policymaking for addressing obesity and health equity” (2023). Data and Supporting Files. Paper 5.

Testing policy brief versions among local policymakers across the U.S.
Policy brief versions, topic: Zoning and development regulations (files for download; PDF and PowerPoint): 1. Usual brief (traditional health content, with use of plain language and design principles), 2. Risk framing (communicates risks using easily understood frequencies, percentages, or graphs), 3. Narrative (use of stories to connect characters to events), and 4. Risk framing + Narrative (mixed)

Survey of local policymakers (testing policy brief versions) reference guide – includes survey description and questionnaire

Infographics & Workshops

Municipal Officials’ Views on Policymaking for Health

This infographic summarizes findings from interviews with local elected and appointed officials from municipalities across the U.S. with high rates of chronic disease disparities for their region (purpose: To understand factors affecting officials’ policymaking for community health).

Community Health Through Policy Change‘ workshops (recordings and resources):


Parks, R. G., Thomas, F., Morshed, A. B., Dodson, E. A., Tian, R., Politi, M. C., Eyler, A. A., Thomas, I., & Brownson, R. C. (2023). Municipal officials’ perspectives on policymaking for addressing obesity and health equity, Evidence & Policy (published online ahead of print 2023).