North Carolina-Cabarrus County

Regional Initiative in Cabarrus, NC

About the Project:

Cabarrus County is located in the south-central part of North Carolina and is a mixed urban/rural community. The county is experiencing epidemic rates of obesity and diabetes with obese youth reaching almost 50%.

The Cabarrus team will focus their activities around nutrition and physical activity in its town school districts, Cabarrus County Schools and Kannapolis City Schools. Cabarrus plans to utilize already existing resources and programs, such as the statewide campaign, "Eat Smart, Move More," and will identify other local and regional groups with which to partner. Recruitment activities include targeting school nurses (one full-time nurse in every school in the county), physicians, parish nurses, public health professionals, and school administrations. The goal of the advocacy training is to successfully train and actively engage 20 healthcare professionals. 


Key Data:

  • Population: 168,740 *14th largest county in state
  • Racial/ethnic distribution: 80.6% White, 14.5% African American, 2.3% Other, 1.5% Asian; 8% of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race
  • Diabetes hospitalizations: Between the two periods of 1990-1995 and 1998-2002, Cabarrus witnessed a 60% increase in diabetes hospitalizations

Policy Focus:

The Cabarrus team is in the process of narrowing their policy focus on nutrition and physical activity.


  • Support Farm-to-School and School Garden programs
  • Increase appealing, healthy food and beverage choices offered outside of the school meal program (i.e., fundraisers, vending, after school, a la carte)
  • Improve access to quality school meals (i.e., includes school breakfast program and school lunch program)

Physical Activity:

  • Encourage standards-based physical education classes in which students are active for the majority of the class
  • Assess the physical fitness of students annually and provide results to students' parents or guardians (includes body mass index)
  • Increase opportunities for more frequent physical activity during and after school


Project Lead: Victoria Manning, MHA and Erin Bayer, MPH
Cabarrus Health Alliance;

NICHQ: Jenna Williams, Project Manager

Customized Advocacy Resource Guide:

A customized version of the Be Our Voice guide has been developed to assist in training local advocates. Local government structures and processes, data, media resources, and other grantees specific to Cabarrus County are included. Download the North Carolina Cabarrus Advocacy Resource Guide (PDF).

Local Training:

June 5, 2010

BOV Cabarrus Trainee Newsletter: