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nutrition education and obesity prevention branch (NEOPB)

Children and Youth

The Children and Youth initiatives under the California Department of Public Health’s Nutrition Education and Obesity Prevention Branch (NEOPB) represent a compilation of statewide public health initiatives whose efforts are aimed at improving the nutrition and physical activity levels of children and youth from low-income families.


  • 4,000 schools in California qualify for SNAP-Ed funded nutrition education and obesity prevention programs.
  • Close to one-third of California’s children are obese or overweight.
  • Research supports the idea that healthy kids make better learners.

PowerPlay! and School/Afterschool Support

The Power Play! initiative uses activities and messaging in environments where children live, learn, and play. Low-resource sites can use its school and afterschool models to provide nutrition education lessons and physical activity energizers, cafeteria-based promotions, and youth engagement projects.

New PowerPlay! 4th Grade Workbook (PDF, 1.8MB)

Send comments and questions regarding PowerPlay! to:, attention Policy and Partnership Development Unit or call 916-449-5400.

Youth Engagement Initiative

The Youth Engagement Initiative is a public health initiative that works with youth ages 12-18 in low-resource areas. Youth leaders have been successful in showing stakeholders, community leaders, teachers, parents, and policy makers that youth should be a key part of the discussions and solutions development regarding the health and well-being of their communities.

  • Inspiring Youth as Partners (PDF)
    • This document provides an overview for anyone interested in learning more about youth-led processes, youth-adult partnership, and/or the impacts of YPAR on youth, adults, and communities.
  • Inspiring Youth, Growing Change (PDF, 3.6MB)
    • This report documents successes and challenges resulting from the local YPAR projects.
  • CalTeen 2010: Creating Change with Youth Voice (PDF, 3.5MB)*
    • The information provided in this report highlights barriers California teens face when trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle. The report also provides promising opportunities for interventions.
​*We are currently in the process of converting these documents to ADA web accessible formats.
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