A Review of Obesity-Themed Policy Briefs
Published Date:Sep 2012
Source:Am J Prev Med. 2012; 43(3 Suppl 2):S143-S148.
Pubmed Central ID:PMC3462489
Funding:1R01CA124404-01/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
R01 CA124404/CA/NCI NIH HHS/United States
U48DP001903/DP/NCCDPHP CDC HHS/United States
Policy approaches are one of the most promising population-based means of addressing the epidemic of obesity in the U.S., especially as they create supportive environments for healthy living. Policy briefs can be an effective means of disseminating research information to inform obesity prevention efforts; however, they are often ineffective due to length, density, and inaccessibility. The purposes of this project were to identify a collection of obesity-related policy briefs, analyze the content, and make recommendations for model policy briefs.
In 2010, online searching strategies were developed with criteria that included: a primary topical focus on obesity, written between 2000 and 2010, targeting any population age group, including a policy-change message, and being readily available online. The research team developed a coding tool and used it to analyze briefs. A subsample of the briefs was used for further analysis on dissemination.
Analyses were conducted on 100 briefs. Most (72%) were developed between 2005 and 2010; the average length was five pages. The majority had no tables, few figures, and only 36% included photos. The average reading level was high. A lack of monitoring or evaluating dissemination efforts prevailed.
Policy briefs represent an effective, often-preferred, potent tool for public health practitioners and researchers to communicate information to policymakers. Recommendations include presenting information clearly, using a concise format, including design elements, noting reference and contact information, employing active and targeted dissemination efforts, and conducting evaluation.
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