Evaluating the Healthier Campus Initiative

In 2018-19, ChildObesity180 conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of the Partnership for a Healthier America’s Healthier Campus Initiative (HCI), a national effort promoting healthier environments on US college campuses. From the time the HCI was launched in 2014, 79 campuses, representing over one million students, joined and committed to adopting at least 23 of 41 evidence-based guidelines for promoting healthy eating and physical activity.

This collaborative evaluation effort included original surveys and qualitative interviews with leaders in campus health, a pilot survey of students on participating campuses to advance understanding of individual-level health behaviors and health outcomes, and a comprehensive review of the scientific literature.

Overall, the research provided promising evidence that the HCI elicited positive changes in campus health environments. It also generated novel insights about different types of health-promoting policies and practices on college campuses, including their ease of and barriers to implementation and their impact on student health.