Public health professionals as policy entrepreneurs: Arkansas's childhood obesity policy experience

Am J Public Health. 2010 Nov;100(11):2047-52. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2009.183939. Epub 2010 Sep 23.


In response to a nationwide rise in obesity, several states have passed legislation to improve school health environments. Among these was Arkansas's Act 1220 of 2003, the most comprehensive school-based childhood obesity legislation at that time. We used the Multiple Streams Framework to analyze factors that brought childhood obesity to the forefront of the Arkansas legislative agenda and resulted in the passage of Act 1220. When 3 streams (problem, policy, and political) are combined, a policy window is opened and policy entrepreneurs may advance their goals. We documented factors that produced a policy window and allowed entrepreneurs to enact comprehensive legislation. This historical analysis and the Multiple Streams Framework may serve as a roadmap for leaders seeking to influence health policy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Arkansas / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Health Policy* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Humans
  • Obesity / epidemiology
  • Obesity / prevention & control*
  • Politics
  • Public Health* / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Young Adult