PRC Core Research Project


The purpose is to develop and disseminate approaches that will increase the use of evidence-based policies to reduce obesity disparities and advance health equity, at the local-level.

Project Goals

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

Data & Supporting Materials
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 (testing policy brief versions) reference guide – includes survey description and questionnaire

Summaries, Infographics & Webinars

Municipal Officials’ Views on Policymaking for Health: Findings from interviews with local elected and appointed officials from municipalities across the U.S. with high chronic disease disparities for their region to understand factors affecting their policymaking for community health.

Two Policy Domains Where Local Governments Can Make a Difference: Research brief with CivicPulse

Testing Policy Briefs among Local Policymakers across the U.S.: Insights from testing policy brief versions on a community health issue with local policymakers (county-, municipal-, and town-level elected officials) to compare the versions, examine factors influencing what they choose to work on, and how this impacts use of briefs.

Community Health Through Policy Change webinars, recordings and resources:


Parks RG, Thomas F, Morshed AB, Dodson EA, Tian R, Politi MC, Eyler AA, Thomas I, & Brownson RC (2023). Municipal officials’ perspectives on policymaking for addressing obesity and health equity, Evidence & Policy (published online ahead of print 2023).

Dodson EA, Parks RG, Jacob RR, An R, Eyler AA, Lee N, Morshed AB, Politi MC, Tabak RG, Yan Y, & Brownson RC (2024). Effectively communicating with local policymakers: a randomized trial of policy brief dissemination to address obesity. Frontiers in Public Health. 2024;12.