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Hello and welcome to the website for CDC’s Health Equity Resource Toolkit for State Practitioners Addressing Obesity Disparities from the Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO). We are pleased to present this Toolkit and website to assist public health practitioners with a systematic approach to program planning using a health equity lens.

Obesity has been on the rise in the United States (U.S.) over the past two decades and is at high levels. In addition to population-wide trends, it is clear that obesity affects some groups more than others and can be associated with age, income, disability, education, gender, race and ethnicity and geographic region.

Young women cheers with water bottles after group fitness.

The purpose of the Health Equity Toolkit is to increase the capacity of state health departments and their partners to work with and through communities to implement effective responses to obesity in populations that are facing health disparities. The Toolkit provides a six-step process for planning, implementing, and evaluating a program to address obesity disparities. It begins with an introduction of the burden of obesity in the U.S. and some of the disparities in the experience of that burden. The Toolkit then provides a description of a recommended conceptual framework, the Social Ecological Model, and follows with sections, which discuss the six planning steps and considerations of the process. Each section contains, a) a basic description of a step of the process and suggested evidence-informed actions to help address obesity disparities, b) practical tools for carrying out activities to help reduce obesity disparities, and c) a “real-world” case study of a successful state-level effort to address obesity with a focus on health equity that is particularly relevant to the content in that section. Hyperlinks to additional resources are included throughout.

Our hope is that armed with these resources, you may find yourself better equipped to make systems and environmental changes that will reduce obesity disparities and achieve health equity.

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