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Trailnet- Healthy Active Vibrant Communities

Underlying Theory/Evidence

Strategies Used1: This intervention builds community capacity to implement the following evidence-based strategies:

Findings from the Early Assessment2: Site visitors that conducted an early assessment of the HAVC Initiative concluded the following:

  • Research from Active Living by Design, the Community Guide, and the Strategic Alliance (ENACT) informed the Initiative. 
  • The logic of the intervention rests on the theory that communities can be more or less supportive of healthy eating and active living. Theoretically, people living in communities with infrastructure to support active living and healthy eating will be healthier because they will have more opportunities to make healthy choices. 
  • The plausibility of the intervention to produce the desired outcomes is greatest in municipalities (Ferguson and De Soto). This is because municipalities have legal authority and human and financial resources to alter the policy and built environments within their jurisdictional limits. In contrast, neighborhoods must work with their parent municipality to alter the policy and built environment and do not have the authority to do so alone. Despite these limitations, it is still plausible that the intervention will produce the desired outcomes in neighborhoods as well.

1 A full description of the intervention strategies used can be found here, with references to the sources of evidence to support the strategies. 

2 Trailnet HAVC participated in the Early Assessment of Programs and Policies to Prevent Childhood Obesity project, a collaborative effort of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, CDC Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health, and Macro International.  The findings in this section are based on the opinion of the site visitors and derived from the Trailnet HAVC  Summary Report ( December 2008).