On this page we present detailed results for our Multi-Component School-Based Obesity Prevention model in Chicago, IL. You can find information about the following topics:

Baseline Demographics

Obesity

Education

Other Health Outcomes

Financial Savings








Chicago is organized into 77 local geographies known as community areas (see corresponding map).

Taken from https://www.housingstudies.org/page/city-chicago-community-areas/

There are approximately 166,000 kindergarten through 5th Graders enrolled in the Chicago Public School System. We estimate approximately 81,000 (48.6%) of them as having BMI indicating obesity/overweight status, of which 49,000 (29.2% of the total) are obese.

Obesity rates prior to the intervention vary greatly across community area - from 32.9 percent in South Lawndale to 12.7 percent in Lincoln Park.

The intervention improves time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity during the school day by an average of 

20.5 minutes per week.

Because of the program, there would be approximately 6,200 fewer cases (a 3.7 percentage point reduction) in childhood obesity cases in Chicago.

As a result more children will be proficient in these subjects. 

For Chicago as a whole, the percent of children meeting or excelling standards goes from 29.1% to 41.8% in English/Language Arts and from 25.3% to 37.2% in math.

Although the program isn't expected to have an impact on high school graduation, there is a projected increase of college graduates. The intervention increases college graduation by 31 graduates.

The intervention saves 20 lives over the course of 50 years (these are spread out too diffusely over community areas to show local estimates).


The program also leads to a reduction in a wide swath of morbidities associated with obesity, including asthma, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, and depression. We find the intervention will reduce the occurrences of all morbidities we measure by over 2,000 cases.

To zoom access the estimated number for a particularly community area, select it from the tab below:

The program begins to bring in steady positive returns in year 7. After 50 years, discounted returns approach -$2.0 million. For an initial cost of $12.7 million, this comes out to $0.86 returns for every dollar initially invested.

The majority of savings from the program, 46 percent  in total, comes from reduced Medicaid expenditures in adulthood. Averted expenditures for men make up a larger share than for women (24 percent and 22 percent respectively).

An additional 40% of savings are from reduced Medicaid expenditures in childhood.

The remaining 15 percent in savings are through sales tax revenue on increased earnings.