About the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch
Well-nourished, physically active Californians living in healthy communities.
Through statewide, regional and local partnerships, programs, and policy initiatives, we promote healthy eating, physical activity, and food security with an emphasis in communities with the greatest health disparities.
Food and Beverage; Food Security; and Physical Activity
While California’s obesity rates overall meet the Healthy People 2020 national goal, the State has a long way to go to create a healthy population. As one of the most populous states, the number of individuals affected by obesity and obesity-related health conditions is high and costly. Despite progress, disparities persist in obesity rates, with higher rates of obesity among Californians with the lowest household incomes and educational attainment, as well as among some racial and ethnic groups in California.
Originally established in 1995, the Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) of the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) addresses rising obesity rates through statewide, regional, and local programs and partnerships that promote healthy eating, physical activity, and food security with an emphasis on communities with the greatest health disparities. Through funding provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program-Education (SNAP-Ed), the United States Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG), NEOPB’s annual budget is approximately $80 million. While the various funding streams of NEOPB have distinct objectives and activities, NEOPB leverages the funding sources, when appropriate, to work together and maximize and support a comprehensive, multi-level strategy for obesity prevention.
Primary NEOPB Section Roles and Functions
Administrative Operations Section (AOS)
The Administrative Operations Section is comprised of three units 1) Fiscal Services Unit (FSU), 2) Administrative Services Unit (ASU), and 3) Contract Operations Unit (COU). The FSU is responsible for NEOPB's annual budget of approximately $80 million. The COU is responsible for contract management, solicitations, contract compliance, and providing expert technical assistance and recommendations to NEOPB management and staff regarding contractual issues related to NEOPB Programs. The ASU is responsible for personnel, training, administrative support for the Branch, and facilities management. To ensure program integrity, this entire Section manages the required USDA documentation in compliance with state and federal laws and regulations. Section staff within the three units work on a regular basis with the CDPH Budget Office, Accounting Office, Office of Legal Services, and the Program Support Branch, as well as the Health and Human Services Agency, the Department of Finance, and other state and federal agencies. Section activities are integrated with other programs and projects within NEOPB.
Research and Evaluation Section (RES)
The Research and Evaluation Section is responsible for planning and implementing formative and outcome evaluations of SNAP-Ed programs. This includes both state-level and local-level evaluation projects. This section is responsible for the conceptualization of evaluation goals and objectives, selection of appropriate evaluation designs and statistical techniques, development of data collection instruments, quality control measures, analytic methods, and interpreting and drawing conclusions related to intervention of the activity being evaluated. NEOPB utilizes a Geographic Information System (GIS) to strategically plan new interventions and identify geographic areas for targeting. Section activities are integrated with other programs and projects within NEOPB.
Policy, Partnership, and Program Development Section (PPPDS)
The Policy, Partnership, & Program Development Section develops innovative projects, supports trainings, and provides technical assistance in the areas of programs and curriculum, community engagement, and policy systems and environmental supports. Section staff facilitate relationships with public and private partners, stakeholders, and advisory bodies, and convene statewide meetings. Section activities are integrated with other programs and projects within NEOPB.
State Media and Public Relations Section (SMPRS)
The State Media and Public Relations Section is responsible for a mass communication and public relations campaign directed to SNAP-Ed eligible Californians through advertising, promotional activities, and social media. The activities of SMPR are integrated with other programs and projects within CDPH SNAP-Ed.
Information and Communications Section (ICS)
The Information and Communications Section develops multi-lingual resources that can help consumers choose a healthy eating and active living lifestyle. Materials produced include posters, cookbooks, brochures and more. Resources for key intermediaries also are available.
Local Agency Support Section (LASS)
The Local Agency Support Section provides leadership, consultation, training, and technical assistance to California's local health departments for SNAP-Ed funded interventions with a focus on building community capacity to implement programs, policies, and environmental supports that reinforce healthy eating and physical activity, including assistance with interpretation of allowable SNAP-Ed funded activities. Staff are responsible for consultation on work plan development and intervention site selection. Staff review and approve work plans and budgets; providing consultation on nutrition education and physical activity promotion, and impact outcome evaluation. They provide consultation of SNAP-Ed work at local site visits and review of progress reports, providing leadership and coordination for selection of program materials and evidence based curriculum, and coordination of local health department webinars. Section activities integrate with other programs and projects within NEOPB and with other SNAP-Ed State Implementing Agencies through collaborative workgroups.
Statewide Training and Support Section (STSS)
The Statewide Training and Support Section provides leadership, training, and technical assistance to SNAP-Ed funded Local Implementing Agencies, partners and contractors on behalf of the California Department of Social Services, and in collaboration with UC CalFresh, Catholic Charities of California, and the Department of Aging. Section activities are also integrated with other programs and projects within NEOPB. In addition to providing customized and practice-based trainings in a variety of formats, the section also provides statewide regional support through various training initiatives and events. These services include the Promising Practice Exchanges, Peer Exchange Program and Partnership Building Support, which focus on fostering and maintaining local connections and developing learning communities regionally. Check out the Training and Events Calendar for upcoming activities.