Healthy People in Every Stage of Life

Coordinated Approach to Child Health:
From Research to Practice


“Healthy People at Every Stage of Life:  All people, and especially those at greater risk of health disparities, will achieve their optimal lifespan with the best possible quality of health in every stage of life.”  —-Overarching CDC Healthy People Goal

children running in fieldCDC is changing to meet the challenges of public health in the 21st century.  To address the shifting landscape of public health, the CDC has established four Health Protection Goals focusing on healthy people, healthy places, preparedness, and global health.

CDC’s Healthy People goals encompass the unique health issues and risk behaviors that affect the quality of health in every stage of life. This broadcast of Public Health Grand Rounds focuses on Healthy People and the importance of establishing healthy behaviors during childhood instead of attempting to change unhealthy behaviors in adulthood.  Major research initiatives and  school and community based interventions to prevent and reduce unhealthy behaviors that cause and exacerbate chronic diseases is discussed.

The Case Study

Recent studies of children, adolescents, and young adults have demonstrated the close link of blood cholesterol level, blood pressure level, smoking, and obesity with the extent and severity of atherosclerosis among people well below 20 years of age.

This broadcast highlights  the Coordinated School Health Program Model (CSHP) to aid schools and communities in preventing and reducing chronic diseases.  A CSHP consists of eight interactive components, which can help schools create programs that help students establish healthy habits.

Researchers designed and tested a school health program called Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) to help children improve their diet and increase their amounts of physical activity. CATCH, which now reaches more than half a million children in more than 1,200 schools in Texas, started as a clinical trial and is currently an effective public health intervention program.  The case study features Travis County which includes a large, heavily populated school system in Austin, TX.

In 2001, the Texas state legislature passed a bill authorizing the state Board of Education to require all school systems in Texas to provide 30 minutes per day of school-based physical activity and to implement a coordinated school health curriculum. Schools and communities, in particular, have a critical role to play in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns. Work with community partners continues to further the adoption and implementations of CATCH and similar behavioral change programs across the nation.


This program will seek to increase knowledge and awareness of how the CATCH program gives schools and communities the tools they need to help children improve their diet and increase the amount of physical activity they engage in.  By addressing chronic disease risk factors at a young age, we can begin to prevent and reduce the chronic disease burden in the U.S.


  1. State at least three reasons why it is important to implement evidence-based public health interventions designed to promote healthy lifestyle habits in a person’s early years.,  
  2. Describe the Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH) program and how it has been implemented and disseminated in a school district and an organization that serves youth (Austin Independent School District, Austin, Texas, and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) clubs, Rochester, New York).
  3. Describe how federal, state, and local health and education agencies, legislators, universities, and community-based organizations can work together to improve health outcomes and leverage resources to implement successful and proven interventions.
  4. Describe how a coordinated school health program (CSHP) can improve health outcomes, specifically cardiovascular health, across the life stages.


Public health leaders; managers and professionals from local and state health departments, hospitals, community-based health organizations, boards of health, private physician practices, federal agencies, and academic institutions; and others who are concerned about preventing and reducing chronic disease across the life stages.