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Reducing Early Childhood Obesity (RECO) Evaluation


  • Early childhood obesity is a serious and growing problem.
  • Abt evaluated the reach and impact of First 5 LA’s RECO investments.
  • Results suggest broad reach and significant impacts of RECO across and within LA County.
The Challenge

Many young children are overweight or obese, which can lead to poor health outcomes later in life as well as higher health care costs. First 5 LA, an independent county agency that helps prepare children for kindergarten during their first five years, funded diverse investments to improve children’s health. First 5 LA wanted to assess the reach and impact of the Reducing Early Childhood Obesity (RECO) investments in Los Angeles County.

The Approach

Abt led the RECO evaluation, which consisted of two interrelated studies. One study assessed the impact of the RECO investments on LA County as a whole and on communities within the county by employing several innovative methods, including a synthetic comparison group method and a comparative interrupted time series method. A separate reach study described the extent to which the RECO investments targeted and reached the intended families and those most in need of services.