Community Intervention Resources

After learning about the science of the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) for the first time, many communities wonder what they can do to improve their community's health. While this research has progressed over the past two decades, we are just beginning to develop community-based interventions fully utilizing this science as a framework. However, many of the supporting principles of this science have been used to develop programs and policies supporting community health. 

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed the What Works for Health menu of evidence-based programs and policies. The Moore Institute used this database to identify interventions appropriate for communities interested in implementing a community-based project utilizing DOHaD concepts. These programs and policies are grouped into categories to offer communities some guidance in moving forward with an intervention that is not only an appropriate fit, but also has evidence to back its effectiveness. More information about the methods the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation used to determine these rankings as well as a wealth of resources available to communities ready take action to improve their health are available on their website.

Much of the work of the Moore Institute uses the Social Ecological Model of health promotion, which recognizes the dynamic interplay between the individual, family, organization and broader environment in shaping health. We further identified where each of the interventions fits with the model so communities can see how interventions at one level will influence, and be influenced by, work at the other levels. Each intervention is labeled with one or more of the following:

(IND) Individual
(IP) Interpersonal
(ORG) Organizational
(COMM) Community
(POL) Policy

Interventions list


Scientific Evidence

(IND) Breastfeeding promotion
(COMM) Competitive pricing for healthy foods
(ORG) Nutrition and physical activity interventions in preschool and child care school breakfast programs
(ORG) School nutrition standards
(ORG) Worksite obesity prevention interventions

Some Supported Scientific Evidence

(COMM) Community kitchens for food processing 
(ORG) Farm to school programs
(ORG) Fruit and vegetable taste testing
(ORG) Healthy food initiatives in food banks
(ORG) Healthy school lunch initiatives
(ORG) Point of purchase prompts for healthy foods
(POL) Restaurant nutrition labeling
(ORG) School food and beverage restrictions
(ORG) School based nutrition education programs
(POL) Sugar sweetened beverage tax
(POL) Unhealthy snack tax
(ORG/POL) Water availability and promotion interventions
(COMM) WIC and senior farmers' market nutrition programs
(ORG) Workplace supports for breastfeeding

Expert Opinion

(COMM) Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
(COMM) Community weight loss challenges
(COMM) EBT payment at farmers markets
(COMM) Fruit and vegetable gleaning initiatives
(COMM) Food buying clubs and co-ops
(COMM) Mobile markets
(COMM) New grocery stores in underserved areas
(COMM) Nutrition prescriptions
(ORG) School fundraiser restrictions
(COMM) Urban agriculture
(POL) Zoning regulations for fast food

Insufficient Evidence

(COMM) Community kitchens for nutrition education

Physical activity Pregnancy, new baby and family

Scientifically Supported

(IND) Breastfeeding promotional programs
(IP) Centering pregnancy
(ORG) Chicago Parent Child Centers- preschool education
(COMM) Early Head Start (EHS) 
(COMM) Group based parenting programs
(IP) Kinship foster care for children in the child welfare system
(IND/IP) Multi-component interventions: pregnancy and STIs
(IP) Nurse family partnership - Providing home visiting services to low income, first time mothers and their babies

Some Evidence

(IND) Father involvement programs
(IP) Healthy Family America (HFA)- home visiting services to families at risk for adverse childhood experiences
(ORG) Workplace supports for breast feeding

Expert Opinion

(IND) Grady Memorial Hospital interpregnancy care program - care and education program for women who delivered a very low birthweight baby
(IND) Magnolia Project Provide prenatal and inter-conception care, family planning, and case management services, and group based education to eligible women via Healthy Start

Insufficient Evidence

(IP) Birthing Project SisterFriends - volunteer effort that build one-on-one supportive relationships between pregnant women of color and other women of color in the community
(IND) Healthy Births for Healthy Communities
(IND) National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad
(ORG) On-site child care


Scientifically Supported

(POL) Child care subsidies
(POL) Earned income tax credit
(POL) Full child support pass-through and disregard- Adopt policies that allow custodial parents who receive Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) to collect all child support paid by the non-custodial parent; no portion is retained by the state
(POL) Paid family leave
(POL) Paid sick leave laws

Some Evidence

(POL) Inclusionary zoning
(POL) Living Wage Laws

Expert Opinion

(POL) Affordable housing tax increment financing (TIF)
(POL) Child tax credit expansion
(POL) Low income housing tax credits (LIHTCs)
(POL) Refundable child and dependent care tax credit

Insufficient Evidence

(COMM) Grocery, housing and utility cooperatives  

Success stories

The Moore Institute works to highlight groups around Oregon and beyond that have worked to implement a program or policy related to the science of DOHaD to improve the health of their community. Check out a couple of articles below, or let us know if you work with an organization that might be a good fit to profile here.

One School's Quest to Serve Healthy Whole Foods
Low-income public charter school in Medford, Ore. serves three fresh from-scratch meals daily
One University's Attempt to Improve the Health Culture on Campus
George Fox University implements Nutrition Matters Program to weave nutrition importance throughout campus culture
Nutrition Education is Key Component of Health Professional Students' Training
One Organization's Path Toward Changing its Food Culture
A Q&A with the manager of the OHSU Farmers Market