Using community-based participatory research to identify potential interventions to overcome barriers to adolescents’ healthy eating and physical activity
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Using a community-based participatory research approach, we explored adolescent, parent, and community stakeholder perspectives on barriers to healthy eating and physical activity, and intervention ideas to address adolescent obesity. We conducted 14 adolescent focus groups (n = 119), 8 parent focus groups (n = 63), and 28 interviews with community members (i.e., local experts knowledgeable about youth nutrition and physical activity). Participants described ecological and psychosocial barriers in neighborhoods (e.g., lack of accessible nutritious food), in schools (e.g., poor quality of physical education), at home (e.g., sedentary lifestyle), and at the individual level (e.g., lack of nutrition knowledge). Participants proposed interventions such as nutrition classes for families, addition of healthy school food options that appeal to students, and non-competitive physical education activities. Participants supported health education delivered by students. Findings demonstrate that community-based participatory research is useful for revealing potentially feasible interventions that are acceptable to community members.
KeywordsAdolescent Nutrition Obesity Physical activity Community-based participatory research
This research was supported by Grant #R24 MD001648 from the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities of the National Institutes of Health, Center Grant #U48 DP000056 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program. Additional analytical support was provided by staff at the UCLA/RAND Center for Adolescent Health Promotion (Burt Cowgill, Jacinta Elijah, and Jennifer Patch).
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