Fall 2019 Newsletter

Greetings from Sarah de Guia, healthy kids meals, APHA 2019, Public Health Law Academy, RWJF report

Greetings from Our New CEO

Sarah de Guia

ChangeLab Solutions is well known for its library of model laws and policies. But what we’re most proud of is the direct impact that implementation of health-promoting laws has on communities. With the publication of our Blueprint for Changemakers, we’re also expanding our efforts to raise awareness of the connections between harmful, discriminatory policymaking and health disparities.

In this issue of our newsletter, my first as CEO, I am excited to highlight a story about how our work has positively affected the health of children throughout California. In our blog post on healthy changes to kids meals at fast-food restaurants, you’ll read about the evolution of a model law. This account demonstrates how one community’s efforts can soon spread to other cities and towns — and then to the state level. Read the story — and more — below.

And for those of you who are attending APHA in Philadelphia, we hope to see you there.

Best wishes,

Sarah de Guia, JD
CEO, ChangeLab Solutions


Success Story: Healthy Kids Meals Statewide

A children's meal with milk, apple, and toy

How does a public health victory spread from one locality to the entire state?

After ChangeLab Solutions’ model policy language on healthy beverages in kids meals was adopted by officials and advocates in Davis, CA, we were thrilled to learn that this public health initiative had caught on quickly with other cities and counties across the state.

California’s Healthy by Default Kids Meal Beverages Act, which took effect on January 1, 2019, was a rare victory against the interests of Big Soda companies. Now milk and water are the default choices for kids meals in restaurants across the state. Read the full success story.


Connect with Our Staff at APHA 2019


The American Public Health Association (APHA) 2019 Annual Meeting and Expo is right around the corner. This year’s event will take place in Philadelphia on November 2–6, and staff from ChangeLab Solutions will be presenting on a variety of topics related to public health law.

Please stop by APHA booth #506 to check out our display and meet some of us! ChangeLab Solutions’ new CEO Sarah de Guia will be available to chat informally at the booth on Tuesday, November 5, 4:00–5:00pm.

Learn about presentations by ChangeLab Solutions staff.


NEW Resources from Public Health Law Academy

Three tiers of government structure

The Public Health Law Academy, created in partnership with the Public Health Law Program of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides free online trainings for public health students and professionals. These courses cover the basics of our legal system and the roles that law and policy play in improving overall population health.

Our new facilitator guides are for public health leaders, lawyers, and educators who want to incorporate Public Health Law Academy trainings into their presentations and courses. These tools will be helpful in teaching about how law affects health outcomes and in building the capacity of public health professionals to achieve their goals. Access the trainings and the education tools.


State of Childhood Obesity Report from RWJF

Schoolchildren laying on the ground in a circle

Although US childhood obesity rates have remained steady in recent years, they remain at historically high levels after decades of persistent increases. Almost 5 million young people ages 10 to 17 have obesity. And Black and Latinx children have a higher risk of experiencing obesity-related health problems than their white and Asian peers — a disparity that is directly attributable in part to discriminatory policies and systems that have been in place for decades.

ChangeLab Solutions applauds the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) for producing State of Childhood Obesity, a crucial annual report that recommends many policy solutions that we believe can counteract unfair health inequities. We also appreciate that the report reflects some of our work, including our Blueprint for Changemakers, our expertise on preemption, and a story about our partners in Columbus, OH. Explore the full report.