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To develop a community-based program targeting overweight and obesity prevention among adolescents in limited resource, minority communities.
Summary of analyzed data for a tri-state, quasi-experimental project including six communities (one control and one intervention community from each state) who are responsible for creating and implementing one nutrition and one physical activity program addressing overweight and obesity among 6th to 8th grade youth.
Mixed methods approach used in collecting community food and physical activity environmental data, student health behavior questionnaire data, intervention community focus group data, steering committee annual meeting transcripts and ripple effect mapping (REM) data.
Conclusion and Implications
This project developed a potential framework for creating community-focused, sustainable and effective adolescent obesity prevention programs. Outcomes reported from REM data support this framework by increased student awareness and importance of positive health behaviors, as well as the willingness to adopt these health behaviors; positive changes in school culture related to collaboration, involvement and commitment to wellness; an increase in school-community partnerships; improvements in the school physical environment; and increased opportunities for physical activity before, during and after school and in the community. This implies community-centered efforts, guided by community stakeholders, educators and youth have led to changes related to policy, system, and environment which promote healthier dietary and physical activity behaviors in youth living in limited-resource communities.