Food and Health

Courtney, Anita. 2012 Shaping Kentucky’s Future: A Community Guide to Reducing Obesity – Local Success Stories. Kentucky Department for Public Health. (48 pages)

The author, a Public Health Nutrition Consultant, highlights the overall obesity rates throughout the state of Kentucky. She focuses on the specific efforts and successes of various programs initiated statewide whose aims are to help local citizens make better nutritional choices and engage in more physical activity. The author asserts that obesity has become the most serious threat to the health of Kentuckians, as the state ranks third in national childhood obesity rates and sixth in adult obesity. Courtney challenges every reader to go out into the community with the goal of affecting changes that will make healthy eating and regular physical activity the “easy choice.” Some of Courtney’s ideas included: encouraging policy changes, supporting environmental initiatives like parks and sidewalks, and getting involved in grassroots movements to bring healthy foods to needy neighborhoods. The author claims that the efforts of each individual community highlighted in the report were successful because they created sustainable, long-term change. In the appendix, the Nutrition Consultant provides printable “Action Worksheets” which are intended to assist in the formulation of new programs and initiatives to improve the health and wellness of Kentuckians. The author concludes the report with a list of the “Eight Elements of Successful Policy,” which was adapted from Public Health Law and Policy, a nonprofit organization.


Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. 2012  RWJF Progress Report- Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities. Report.


Louisville case study url: louisville-ky. (National report 21 pages; Louisville case study 3 pages)

The report details the progress of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative, part of a national program funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The goal of the project was to address the ‘obesity epidemic’ in 49 target communities, through the implementation of comprehensive community-based strategies. Louisville, KY was one of those communities, and although not explicitly described in the progress report, a summary of the Louisville case study is provided on the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities webpage. Working with the Mayor’s Healthy Hometown committee and local residents, HCHK undertook a number of initiatives whose goals were to lower obesity rates and increase access to fresh foods. Examples of these initiatives included road diets, Healthy in a Hurry stores, and re-zoning to allow urban gardening.


Pratt, Katie. (2014) Cooking class teaches low-income families about nutrition. University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences pages)

This article, from the Summer 2014 news bulletin issued by UK’s School of Human Environmental Sciences, discusses cooking classes offered in Oldham County through the Cooperative Extension Service and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program, in conjunction with Dare to Care food bank. Pratt describes how the extension classes are aimed towards helping lower-income people improve their nutritional choices and food-preparation skills.


Smith, Patrick and Margaret Pennington, Lisa Crabtree, and Robert Illback. 2011 Louisville Metro Health Equity Report: The Social Determinants of Health in Louisville Metro Neighborhoods Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness’ Center for Health Equity. (76 pages)

The group of authors, made up of community planners and evaluation researchers who also hold advanced degrees in social work and psychology, provide an analysis that addresses the “Social Determinants of Health” (SDOH) in the greater Louisville Metro community. The primary objective of the report is to promote a community-wide understanding of the root causes of health inequalities in Louisville Metro. It also hopes to serve as an impetus for the discussion of neighborhood conditions that contribute to varying degrees of health throughout Louisville. The goal is to move the discussions beyond individual choice-making into the underlying community environmental factors that perpetuate poor citizen health. The authors use the report to counter the common (mis)perception that individual behavior is the primary determinant of health, which presumes that some individuals choose to be unhealthy. Rather, they state, the real SDOHs are access to proven health protective resources like clean air, healthy food, recreational space, opportunities for high-quality education, living wage employment, and decent housing – all of which are highly dependent on the neighborhood in which one lives. The authors cite social inequalities and structural racism as primary factors that influence the Social Determinants of Health and that real change in the overall health of Louisville’s at-risk communities depends on an embrace of a “health in all policies approach” to providing opportunities for better health through effective policy.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s