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A policy brief is a written document that conveys a policy issue, background related to the issue,
information pertinent to the issue (this may include current law, debate about the issue, data
about the issue), recommendation, and references. Your brief, in theory, should be a document
that can inform your local community, the public at-large, and be a piece for advocacy.
The overall focus of this brief is on food insecurity and childhood obesity. For this particular
policy brief you will:
• Create your own title for the brief (3 points)
• Provide an executive summary (10 points)
• Provide background on the problem (i.e. obesity), a contributing factor to the problem (i.e.
food insecurity), and the co-occurring relationship between the contribution factor and
problem (15 points)
• Describe a current policy or program designed to address the contributing factor (i.e.
SNAP) and related limitations of the policy or program. NOTE: The description is about 1
policy or program, NOT multiple policies or programs. (15 points)
• Provide 3 recommendations to improve the policy or program described above. NOTE: This
is NOT recommendation for an individual but recommendations for the policy or program.
(15 points)
• Include the references used to create the brief. A minimum of 5 empirical articles are
required in your reference page. (10 points). You may have more than 5 references, but at
least 5 must be empirical articles. Please see Blackboard as to what qualifies as an empirical
article or where to find one. These points are different from the APA-style formatting points
below.
Format of the paper using the template. (7 points total). This includes:
• Text of the brief: single-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, Times New Roman style font.
Text should not be italicized nor bulleted (2 points).
• Reference page: double-spaced, 1-inch margins, 12-point font, Times New Roman style font
(1 point).
• 2-full pages of text (i.e. cannot be less than 1.5 pages and cannot exceed 2 pages) (2 points).
This page limit does not include the reference page. Your reference page should be on page
3.
• Followed the structure of the template and included the appropriate headers (2 points)
For this assignment you should summarize and synthesize information found in empirical
articles. Providing direct quotes from these articles is UNACCEPTABLE. You will receive
at least a 2 point deduction for every direct quote, with greater deductions for long quotes.
Executive Summary (10 points total))
In your summary, include the following information:
• State that malnutrition is problematic (1 point).
• State that food insecurity is an underlying cause of obesity (1 point).
• Briefly state your recommendations. You will provide greater detail regarding your
recommendations down below (2 points per recommendation; total 6 points).
The executive summary should provide a concise overview of the policy brief; include the same
information as the information below. For example, the recommendations in the executive
summary should be the same recommendations described in the recommendations section. While
the “Executive Summary” is the first thing that is read, it will be easier to write once you have
written the entire brief.
This section should be 3-5 sentences (2 points) written in paragraph form, single spaced, and not
italicized or bulleted. Delete the italicized instructions.
Background (15 points total)
In the background section include the following information.
• State the United States prevalence rates of childhood obesity (2 points).
• State an estimate of the economic impact of obesity in the United (2 points). (You will
need to do a literature search for this one).
• State how food insecurity can be a contributing factor to malnutrition. Include the
following:
o Definition of food insecurity (1 point)
o The United States food insecurity prevalence rate (1 point)
o Empirical research findings regarding how food insecurity may contribute
directly to childhood obesity (5 points).
o Empirical research findings regarding other ways food insecurity may negatively
impact child development (2 points). Other things to include may be any of the
following: (NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list, nor does it mean that you need
to address all of these suggestions)
Empirical research findings about how food insecurity may contribute
indirectly to obesity through parenting stress, mental health, or health
behavior risk factors.
Empirical research findings how food insecurity may contribute to other
developmental outcomes associated with obesity, such as child socioemotional development and behavioral outcomes
This section should be half a page (2 points) in paragraph form, single spaced, and not italicized
or bulleted. Delete the italicized instructions.
Current Policy or Program Information (15 points total)
In the current policy information section describe ONE current policy or program that attempts
to address food insecurity. This can be a national policy that we discussed, such as SNAP or
WIC, or a community-based program, such as a fruit and vegetable prescription program. This
section should describe the policy’s or program’s:
• target audience (e.g. state who is able to utilize the program) (1 point),
• eligibility requirements (e.g. state exactly what criteria individuals must meet to utilize
the program. Vague responses such as “low-income” or “young children” do not
adequately answer the question) (1 point),
• benefits provided (e.g., cash benefits, voucher, cash benefits + nutrition education, etc.)
(1 point),
• what can be purchased and any exclusions or restrictions on benefits (e.g., no alcohol
purchases with SNAP benefits) (1 point)
This section should also describe 3 limitations of the current policy or program (1 point for
stating the limitation + 2 points for describing the limitation = 3 points per limitation; total 9
points). For example, is the policy too narrow in who it targets? Does the program solely
provide benefits but not nutrition education? These limitations are lead-ins to the next section in
which you will provide recommendations on how policy and/or programs should be changed to
better address food insecurity. No recommendations should be provided in this section. For
example, the answer to the question “How can nutrition education or the negative consequences
of obesity be incorporated?” would go in the next section, but the fact that a program does not
incorporate nutrition education might be listed as a limitation in this section.
This section should be half to three-quarters a page (2 points) in paragraph form, single spaced,
and not italicized or bulleted. Delete the italicized instructions.
Recommendations (15 points total)
Identify how to improve the current policy or program described in the previous section. Each
recommendation must include a title and description. Your recommendations should match the
limitations in the previous section. For example, if one of your limitations is that the program
does not provide nutritional recommendations, then one of your recommendations should be to
add an educational component. This section should be formatted as follows:
Recommendation 1: [This should be a clear, snappy title that clearly tells your audience
what should be done (2 points). Delete the brackets and the information inside the
brackets] In 3-5 sentences provide greater detail about this recommendation (Description – 2 points; 3-5
sentences in length – 1 point). This section should be single spaced, and not italicized or
bulleted.
Recommendation 2: [This should be a clear, snappy title that clearly tells your audience
what should be done (2 points). Delete the brackets and the information inside the
brackets] In 3-5 sentences provide greater detail about this recommendation. (Description – 2 points; 3-5
sentences in length – 1 point). This section should be single spaced, and not italicized or
bulleted.
Recommendation 3: [This should be a clear, snappy title that clearly tells your audience
what should be done (2 points). Delete the brackets and the information inside the
brackets] In 3-5 sentences provide greater detail about this recommendation. (Description – 2 points; 3-5
sentences in length – 1 point). This section should be single spaced, and not italicized or
bulleted.
Potential recommendations could address the following. NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list,
nor does it mean that you need to address any or all of these suggestions:
• Are there other methods of improving children’s diets other than providing them cash
benefits?
• Are there particular food assistance programs that should be expanded to include certain
populations, such as non-citizens?
• Should there be restrictions on particular food items? What are those restrictions? How
may this improve health?
• Should food insecurity screening be expanded? If so, what are outlets, venues, and
organizations that could assist with screening? It will be important to explain how
expanding screening may lead to improve health outcomes.
Should food assistance programs work in isolation or work with other public assistance
programs? If food assistance programs should be consolidated with other public
assistance programs how would this would work and describe the potential benefits of
consolidating assistance programs.
When creating the recommendations consider how the recommendation could provide health
benefits not only to the individual who technically receives the benefits, but other members of the
family, such as parents and siblings. Include this information in the recommendation.
Delete the italicized instructions.
A minimum of 5 empirically-based references are required in APA-style format (in-text citations
and reference list).(2 points each) This section should be on a separate page from the text of the
brief, double spaced, and not italicized nor bulleted. Please not in the example below that there
is NO LINK to the article on the internet. Do NOT include weblinks for journal articles.
[The following is an example of an APA-style reference page. Delete the brackets, the
information in the brackets, and all information below prior to typing your information.

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