Health Disparities

kids holding hands
kids holding hands

The progress achieved in some jurisdictions in reducing childhood obesity rates is encouraging. Yet, residents of low-income communities and communities of color continue to experience poor health, including higher obesity rates.

Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities

With support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), we established the Learning Collaborative on Health Disparities in fall 2014. The purpose of the collaborative process was to develop and frame emerging city-level models to reduce childhood obesity-related health disparities and address the social determinants of health.

As a result of the Collaborative, NLC and participating cities gained new insights about the challenges and opportunities associated with local efforts, particularly efforts to increase access to affordable, healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity. To learn more, read our report, Addressing Health Disparities in Cities: Lessons from the Field.

Seven pilot cities were chosen to participate in the Learning Collaborative based on their documented health disparities, commitment and readiness to preventing childhood obesity-related disparities and ability to form strong and diverse partnerships. The selected cities include:

  • Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Cleveland, Ohio
  • Kansas City, Kansas
  • Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Savannah, Georgia
  • Virginia Beach, Virginia

Each city received technical assistance from NLC to develop an early blueprint for local action, completed in June 2015. The cities also had opportunities for peer learning and access to best practices and national experts in order to deepen their understanding of obesity-related health disparities.